Space For Rent

Space For Rent
Friday, July 10, 2015, Ashar 26, 1422 BS, Ramadan 22, 1436 Hijr

Alleged Graft Of Religious Ministry
20,000 pilgrims to miss hajj
Staff Correspondent
Published :Friday, 10 July, 2015,  Time : 12:00 AM  View Count : 19

At least 20,000 pilgrims of 350 private agencies would not be able to perform hajj this year due to alleged mismanagement, irregularities and corruptions of the Religious Affairs Ministry high officials.
Raising the allegations, a section of hajj agency owners on Thursday claimed that the Secretary of the ministry, Chowdhury Babul Hassan, Hajj Agencies Association of Bangladesh (HAAB) President Ibrahim Bahar, General Secretary Shaikh Md Abdullah and some other officials of the ministry are responsible for the  unnecessary crisis.
The allegation was raised at a press conference held at the Dhaka Reporters Unity auditorium organised under the banner of "Quota Deprived Hajj Agencies".
They urged the Prime Minister to intervene to resolve the problems and immediately remove the 'corrupt' officers of the ministry.
Asked about the allegations, the officers concerned and the HAAB leaders refused to make any comment on the allegations made at the press conference.
Earlier on July 7, two Chittagong members of the parliament launched a scathing attack against the Religious Affairs Ministry officials for their irregularities in Hajj flight operations committed by private agencies, allocation of hajj quotas and scrutiny of pilgrims already enlisted and deposited moallem fees.
Jatiya Samajtantrik Dal (Jasod) MP Moinuddin Khan Badal said in Parliament, "Although known as the Religious Ministry, it is involved in 'anti-religious' activities the most."
Tariqat Federation MP Syed Nazibul Bashar also blamed government officials for the irregularities.
In Thursday's press conference, Quota Deprived Hajj Agencies Convener Ruhul Amin Mintu presented the allegations against the Ministry officials and HAAB leaders.
Former HAAB President Jamal Uddin Ahmed, Abdul Kabir Khan Jaman, Abdul Matin Bhuiyan, Abdus Shakur, Mohammad Jakaria and senior members of HAAB attended the programme.
Ruhul Amin, also managing director of Pan-Bright Travels, claimed around 570 out of a total 1,300 HAAB members is facing trouble in getting quota allocation to send hajjis to Saudi Arabia under their agency management.
Though the hajj agencies were asked to deposit moallem fees first, the Ministry started registration of pilgrims from January 21 without prior notice. They were informed on February 19 that the enrolment of pilgrims would be completed by February 22. It also informed that the pilgrims, who will register first, will be sent to KSA on priority basis, he said.
Ruhul claimed the Ministry officials and HAAB leaders ignored their urge to review the decision to ensure sending illegal migrants and Rohingyas to KSA for illegal employment in the name of hajj.
The press conference also disclosed a list of pilgrims that includes fake names such as 'Joydev Das, 'Mobile' 'JFDASKLJ' 'JHKJHK' 'Rahim', 'Karim', 'Kabir' and etc. The names, of which some are Hindu's, were enrolled under Homyera Hajj Travels Ltd.
"The names were enlisted in association with the Ministry officials and HAAB leaders to send Rohingyas and illegal migrants to Saudi Arabia for employment in the name of hajj. The names will be replaced later by giving bribes to the Ministry officials," said Ruhul.
He also claimed Ministry's Secretary has already ordered the Ashkona Hajj office to replace the names of 20 agencies. The Hajj office already started replacing the fake names according to the order of the Ministry.

Editor : Iqbal Sobhan Chowdhury
Published by the Editor on behalf of the Observer Ltd. from Globe Printers, 24/A, New Eskaton Road, Ramna, Dhaka. Editorial, News and Commercial Offices : Aziz Bhaban (2nd floor), 93, Motijheel C/A, Dhaka-1000. Phone :9586651-58. Fax: 9586659-60, Advertisemnet: 9513663, E-mail: [email protected], [email protected], [email protected].