As a crowd of more than 10,000 people surged forward to receive free clothing at the Festival of Eid Al-Fitr in Gaibandha, women and children at the front were crushed.
The bodies of 26 women and 4 children have been identified, while it is unclear as to the number of further victims.
Most of the victims were poor people queueing up for free clothes to celebrate the Salatul Eid (Eid Prayers) at this Moslem festivity of happiness (“Eid” means recurring happiness). It is traditional for Moslems to wear special new clothes to the Mosque to celebrate the prayer session.
Charity is one of the main features of Eid al Fitr, the first festivity of the year after Ramadan on the first day of Shawaal, the tenth month. “Al Fitr” means “breaking fast”. On what is supposed to be a day of happiness and celebration, optimism for the future and cleanliness of spirit, tragedy has beset thirty families in Bangladesh. As usual, it is the poor who pay the price.
It should also be pointed out that if the charitable act had been less flamboyant and more discreet, the deaths would not have occurred.
Timothy BANCROFT-HINCHEY PRAVDA.Ru