Mymensingh, Bangladesh (BBN)– At least 27 people, mostly women, were killed and more than 50 others injured in a stampede in the country’s central Mymensingh district on Friday morning, police and witness said.
The tragic incident occurred at about 4.45 am over distribution of zakat (donation for the poor ahead of Eid festival) on Atul Chakrabarty Road in town, they added.
Eight people, including the zakat donor Md Shamim, were held in this connection, a local police official confirmed.
Among the over 50 injured, two people were still admitted to the medical college in critical conditions.
As the holy month of Ramadan nears the end, the well-off distribute zakat, an act of charity. Often, they help the poor with clothes or money.
Meanwhile, a three-member probe body has been formed in this connection and asked to report on the findings within three days.
Police headquarters on Friday issued a statement asking people to seek their help in distributing zakat or for any “uncontrolled” large gatherings.
The statement made on behalf of Inspector General of Police (IGP) AKM Shahidul Haque said the superintendents of police of districts or the officers-in-charge of police stations should be informed at least a day ahead of such events.
The statement warned of legal actions if there was a lack of security in any such unannounced gatherings.
President Abdul Hamid, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and Speaker Shirin Sharmin Chaudhury expressed profound shock at the deaths.
BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia also expressed her sympathy and urged the government to compensate the families.