Several thousand people attended the namaz-e-janaza of a religious scholar at Bertala village in Sarail upazila here on Saturday ignoring the risk of coronavirus transmission.
Mawlana Jubayer Ahmed Ansari, 59, founder of Jamia Rahmania Bertala Madrasah and senior Nayeb-e-Ameer of Bangladesh Khelafat Majlish, passed away around 6pm on Friday at his Markaspara residence in the district town.
A resident of Aliara village in Nasirnagar upazila, he was known as a prominent Islamic orator.
Locals said about 50,000 people attended the janaza conducted by Jubayer’s son Hafez Mawlana Asad Ullah on the madrasah premises and on Dhaka-Sylhet highway around 10am, defying the government’s strict social distancing rules.
Masud Rana, additional superintendent (Sarail circle), said they tried their best but could not stop people from gathering for the janaza. “We tried to convince Hujurs but people attended the programme being unaware of its consequences,” he added.
Contacted, Upazila Nirbahi Officer ASM Mosa said it was the responsibility of police to stop any public gathering.
On Thursday evening, the Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS) declared the entire country as vulnerable to virus infection, prompting the administration to put the entire country under virtual lockdown.
The DGHS urged all to strictly abide by some specific restrictions, including holding meetings, gatherings and outside movement.