POST TIME: 16 June, 2019 00:00 00 AM
Islamic Foundation DG faces graft charges

Islamic Foundation DG  faces graft charges

There are allegations of corruption, nepotism, irregularities in recruiting manpower and misuse of power against the director general (DG) of the Islamic Foundation Bangladesh (IFA). According to sources, the IFA director general, Shamim Mohammad Afzal, who has been serving in the post for around 10 years, was served show-cause notice for his illegal, imperious and premeditated activities and misuse of power to run the institution that looks after Islamic activities in the country.

A retired district judge serving in the IFA on a contractual basis, Afzal has been asked to reply to the show-cause notice within seven working days after receiving it. He was appointed DG on January 22, 2009.

The religious affairs ministry has issued the notice on behalf of its board of governors. Governor Siraj Uddin Ahmed of the IFA board of governors signed the notice.

At the same time, the ministry cancelled a suspension order of its director Mohiuddin Majumder, who was suspended by the IFA DG without being given any chance to explain his position on allegations brought against him (Mahiuddin).

According to sources, as per IFA service rules, its DG does not have the authority to suspend any Class-I or Class-II officers without the approval of its boards of governors.  If the board of governors approves a punitive measure against any of its official, the IFA DG has the authority to execute the decision only, the sources said.

According to officials concerned, there are several allegations of corruption, irregularities in recruiting manpower and misuse of power against the IFA DG.

The allegations were also submitted to the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) and the higher authorities, including the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO), so that action could be taken against Afzal.

After completing his regular service as judge, Afzal was given contractual appointment for the office four times. His last two years' contract ends in December this year.

When contacted for his comments, Afzal did not receive the phone call of this correspondent. He also did not respond to a short message sent to his cell phone.

State minister for religious affairs, Sheikh Mohammad Abdullah, however, told this correspondent at his office that the ministry has received several allegations against the IFA DG.

“The complaints are being examined. Necessary action will be taken after investigation,” he said.

Regarding director Mohiuddin’s illegal suspension, the state minister said the authorities have already cancelled the suspension letter. “The authorities are conducting a separate investigation into the matter,” he added.

According to officials, the DG suspended Mohiuddin when he leaked the incident of illegal removal of a pillar of the Baitul Mukarram National Mosque under the Islamic Foundation.

A shop owner, Sohrab Hossain, removed a major pillar of the national mosque with the DG’s consent for expanding his shop allocated inside the mosque’s ground floor. The mosque has fallen into risk after removal of the pillar.

Being the responsible officer of the IFA’s mosque and market wing, director Mohiuddin sent a file to the DG eight months back for legal action against Sohrab. But without taking the proposal into consideration, the DG kept the file in his hands to save the offender, sources said.

At the last board meeting, members asked the DG to place the file before the meeting. But he refused to do so, the sources said, adding that it resulted in unnecessary debate at the meeting.

The DG suspended its director that night without informing anybody, the sources said.

When contacted, director Mohiuddin told this correspondent that the DG always favours corrupt officers in his circle. Whenever he tried to resist irregularities and corruption, the DG created obstacles to take punitive measures, he added.