HAAB demands removal of Religious Affairs Ministry Secy

HAAB demands removal of Religious Affairs Ministry Secy

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Dhaka-Terming the Religious Affairs Ministry Secretary and Director (Hajj) of Ashkona Hajj Office as “corrupt” and “inefficient”, Hajj Agencies Association of Bangladesh (HAAB) yesterday demanded their immediate removal from their offices within 24 hours blaming them for several Hajj fights cancellation crisis.Otherwise the HAAB, the apex body of the Hajj agencies across the country, will be compelled to press tougher programme to realize their five point demands including cancellation of collecting Tk4,025 per head for city check-in activities and completion of procedures for sending 4,800 government quota pilgrims, which were transferred to private management.
They placed the demands while addressing a press briefing at its Nayapaltan office in Dhaka threatening to press tougher movement along with around 1,400 Hajj agencies if the two officials do not step down within the stipulated time.
Earlier, the HAAB executive committee held an emergency meeting comprising its executive committee members and senior leaders at the same place with its President Mohammad Ibrahim Bahar in the chair.
Meanwhile, Hajj and Omrah Agencies Welfare Association of Bangladesh (HOAWAB) leaders rejected the allegations of HAAB leaders claiming the two senior bureaucrats as honest and efficient for proper and fair Hajj management.
HOAWAB Convener Jamal Uddin Ahmed, also former President of HAAB, and Member Secretary Abdullah Al Naser, also President of Bangladesh Pilgrims and Hajji Welfare Council, told The Independent on Saturday that failing to manage the two officials to engage them in irregularities, the ‘corrupted’ HAAB leaders are trying to accuse them.
‘Most of the HAAB leaders are accused of human trafficking in the name of Hajj and Omrah. The licenses of the Hajj agencies of HAAB President, Secretary General and other senior leaders were cancelled by the government due to proven charges against them. The Ministry Secretary and Hajj Director handled the issue strictly. So, they are against the officials,” told Naser.
He also informed that they are going to host a press conference at 11am on Sunday in Dhaka Reporters Unity auditorium to describe the anomalies of the HAAB leaders and reasons of Hajj mismanagement in detailed.
In the briefing, HAAB President Ibrahim Bahar claimed the two officials do not give approvals to the documents of delivery order (DO) in due time. That is why the entire process of making passenger’s fight lists is delayed. As a result, Biman has to cancel 15 to 16 Hajj flights.
Bahar alleged the Director (Hajj) comes to his office at the middle of the night and does not give his approval to any of the documents of replacement of pilgrims, who are unable to perform Hajj this year due to death or physical unfitness unless he is given Tk 20,000 for each.
They also came up with a five-point demand and urged the Prime Minister to intervene to resolve the issues as soon as possible or else the fate of around 25,000 Bangladeshi pilgrims will be uncertain.
Disclosing the information of Saudi Arabia’s further allocation of 11,000 extra quota of pilgrims for Bangladesh, Bahar said that the country has already decided to allocate the quota for Bangladesh. But, it will be officially given after completion of sending process of previously allocated 1,01,758 pilgrims.
The two officials are taking long times to complete the process deliberately, so that they do not need to take any pressure more. It may cause hamper to send the 11,000 pilgrims to Saudi Arabia for performing Hajj this year from the waiting list of pre-registered pilgrims.
On August 18, at an inter-ministerial meeting on ‘Fair and Smooth Hajj Management’, it was told that visas of 69,451 pilgrims have already been processed and a total of 41,840 pilgrims had left Dhaka so far. Till to date, around 52,000 pilgrims have flown to the Saudi Arabia.
A total of 1,01,758 Bangladeshis is expected to perform Hajj this year. Biman and Saudia have been selected by the government for carrying the pilgrims.-STAFF REPORTER

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