Following uncertainty, Eid jamaat held at Tetultala playground
Eid jamaat (congregation) was held at Tetultala playground in Dhaka this morning.
Residents of the area, who were uncertain about Eid jamaat at the playground due to the construction of a police station, were thankful and elated after performing their Eid prayers there.
"We are happy as we could offer our Eid prayers here. We did not expect that we will be able to hold Eid jamaat here," said Mahmudur Rahman, a resident of the area.
He said a huge number of people attended the Eid jamaat which extended to the roads due to shortage of space.
Syeda Ratna, who protested the attempt to construct a police station on the playground and was detained by police, said they were delighted that Eid prayers could be held at Tetultala.
There was uncertainty earlier but they were adamant about holding Eid jamaat there as this playground has been used as an Eidgah for many years.
On January 31 this year, the Dhaka Deputy Commissioner's Office handed over the playground to the DMP to construct a building for Kalabagan Police Station. For several months, locals have been demonstrating with the demand to keep it as it is for the sake of children.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on April 28 ordered that Tetultala be kept as a playground, to the relief of environmentalists and locals.
Home Minister Asaduzzaman Khan said the playground would be open to everyone, but would be under the jurisdiction of police.
Children have resumed playing at the ground since the announcement.
Tetultala was proposed to be kept as a playground by the Department of Architecture in 1980.
On the suggestion of the then Dacca Municipal Corporation, the department wrote to the Ministry of Public Works and Urban Development to develop a children's park at Tetultala playground, according to government documents from the time.
Locals, rights activists and environmentalists demonstrated for several days after Kalabagan police picked up Syeda Ratna, who was leading the protests to preserve the playground, along with her son on April 24. Police released the mother and son around 13 hours later with an undertaking that she would not get involved in any protests to protect the playground.