Zakat fund plundered | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, May 04, 2012 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:00 AM, May 04, 2012

Zakat fund plundered

Shahjahan, Sayedee, Azad charged


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The Anti-Corruption Commission yesterday charged former state minister for religious affairs Mosharref Hossain Shahjahan, Jamaat leaders Delwar Hossain Sayedee and Maulana Abul Kalam Azad with misappropriation of Tk 1.28 crore from the government Zakat Fund.
ACC Assistant Director Wajed Ali Molla submitted the charge sheet in a 2010 case to the Dhaka Chief Metropolitan Magistrate's Court, naming seven people including the three. The charge sheet also mentions 45 people as prosecution witnesses.
The four other accused are Lutful Haque, former finance and accounting director of the Islamic Foundation; Miah Mohammad Yunus, secretary of Jatiya Bandhujan Parishad in Bhola; Mohammad Tofazzal Hossain, president of Islami Samajkalyan Kendra in Pirojpur, and Abdul Haque, assistant director of Masjid Council for Community Advancement in Manikganj.
Of the accused in the case, Sayedee is in jail custody in connection with crimes against humanity during the 1971 Liberation War while Azad, also chairman of Masjid Council for Community Advancement in Manikganj, who is known as "Bachchu Razakar", is a fugitive accused of war crimes.
The five others are on the run.
Names of Yunus, Tofazzal and Abdul Haque were not in the first information report (FIR), but came up in the charge sheet as their involvement in the corruption was found during the case investigation.
Wajed Ali Molla, also investigation officer of the case, appealed to the court to issue arrest warrants against all the accused and an order to attach their moveable properties.
Islamic Foundation Finance and Accounting Director Aiyub Ali Chowdhury filed the case with Sher-e-Bangla Nagar Police Station on May 24, 2010.
In the FIR, he said there were zakat committees in every district for distribution of the Zakat Fund. The accused being members of the committees had used their influence over the Zakat Board and got the fund released for their own organisations operating in four districts, whereas the fund was intended for the destitute people of 64 districts, the FIR adds.
The case was filed following an enquiry by a three-member investigation committee formed by the Islamic Foundation into allegations of misappropriation.
The enquiry found that fake signatures and thumb impressions had been used and identities of destitute people had been fabricated to misappropriate the fund, according to the FIR.

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