Millions in Bangladesh on the move as Eid exodus begins amid beefed up security

Source: Xinhua| 2018-06-14 20:01:56|Editor: Shi Yinglun
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People try to climb on the roof of train carriages as they head to their homes to celebrate Eid al-Fitr from Dhaka, Bangladesh, on June 14, 2018. As the Eid al-Fitr festival knocking at the door, the long distance bus stations, ferry terminals and train stations in Bangladesh capital Dhaka see overflowing with tens of thousands of home-bound passengers. (Xinhua)

by Naim-Ul-Karim

DHAKA, June 14 (Xinhua) -- With one of the largest religious festivals Eid-ul-Fitr knocking at the door, traffic has begun to build up on major roads out of Bangladesh capital Dhaka.

On Thursday in Dhaka, the long distance bus stations, ferry terminals and train stations were seen overflowing with tens of thousands of home-bound passengers.

The Eid holidaymakers seemed to ignore the hazards of journey to celebrate Eid-ul-Fitr, the end of the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan, with their loved ones.

The Muslim majority in Bangladesh will celebrate Eid-ul-Fitr on or around June 16 based on the sighting of the new moon.

Dhaka's normally busy streets saw less traffic on Thursday although road leading to dozens of shopping malls and terminals were clogged with vehicles. Many residents have actually started their journey home days earlier to avoid the mad rush.

While passengers crowded ferry, train and bus terminals, other city residents who had their own cars or hired vehicles were making their last-minute shopping and business transactions before their long road trip home.

Like previous years, sufferings of home-goers reportedly worsened with long tailbacks on all highways connecting Dhaka because of a heavy rush of outbound buses.

Photographs of several ferries, trains and buses published in newspapers Thursday showed lots of people risking their lives by clinging perilously on the rails of ferries and trains.

According to some estimates, about one-third of Dhaka's some 20 million residents usually leave the capital city twice in a year on Eid-ul-Fitr and Eid-ul-Adha, the feast of sacrifice.

In the wake of the two major terror attacks that occurred in Bangladesh during Ramadan and Eid in 2016, tight security measures were noticed in parts of Dhaka to ensure the safety of the home-goers and especially Eid prayer venues.

Dhaka Metropolitan Police Commissioner Asaduzzaman Mia told journalists Thursday that there are so far no threats of militant attacks during Eid-ul-Fitr.

Before the wounds of the July 1 deadly terror attack during 2016 Ramadan at a Spanish restaurant in Dhaka, that left 22 people, including 18 foreigners and two police officers dead, had even begun to heal, Bangladesh suffered a fresh blow a few days later, when terrorists attacked Muslims' Eid prayers.

At least four people were killed, including two police officers and one of the attackers, after several explosions and gunfire took place at the entrance of the country's largest Sholakia Eid prayer venue in Kishoreganj district, some 117 km northeast of Dhaka, on the morning of July 7, 2016. 

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KEY WORDS: Bangladesh