Mamunul Haque among 43 Hefazat-e-Islam leaders sued for embezzling Rs 20 cr takas

Forty-three Hefazat-e-Islam leaders, including its arrested former Joint Secretary General Mamunul Haque, have been sued by madarsa director Abdur Razzak Kasemi, for embezzling properties worth 20 crore takas.

Kasemi, director of Al Madrasatu Mueenul Islam, a Qawmi madarsa which is believed to be breeding ground of militants, filed the case in the court of Dhaka Metropolitan Magistrate Morshed Al Mamun Bhuiyan on Tuesday.

After hearing both sides, the magistrate took cognisance and recorded the complainant's statement.

The court directed the Police Bureau of Investigation (PBI), a specialised unit of the Bangladesh Police performing criminal investigation and digital forensic service on orders of the court, police headquarters and other police units, to investigate the case and submit a report to it by July 17.

According to the case documents, the accused embezzled properties worth 20 crore takas by showing various kinds of expenses, including construction of building, for the madrasa.

The accused also allegedly stormed into the Al Madrasatu Mueenul Islam and looted cash and valuable documents on October 9 last year, said the statement.

However, the PBI said that it has not get any order from the court till June 16. Its chief, Deputy Inspector General Banaj Kumar Majumder, told IANS that any order by the court takes a week's time to reach the agency. He said he hoped to receive the order next week.

The PBI chief also told IANS that Hefazat-e-Islam chief Junaid Babunagari will be interrogated soon.

"We have brought Babunagari, Mamunul and other Hefazat leaders for questioning in 24 cases. 10 of them including Mamunul confessed their involvement in crimes. But top Hefazat leader Babunagari denied his involvement in death of former Hefazat chief Ahmed Shafi. We will bring him again and then will interrogate him, focussing on the murder case of Shafi," he said, adding that the embezzlement case will be the 25th.

He said that the PBI will place the charge sheets against the Hefazat militant leaders before the court.

On May 30, the police officials said that they had found transactions of 6 crore takas through bank accounts of Haque. Most of the funds came from expatriates, and law enforcers found "inconsistencies" in using these funds, Dhaka Metropolitan Police's Joint Commissioner, Detective Branch, Mahbub Alam said.

Most of the money had been donated for the welfare of madrasa students, Rohingya aid, development of madrasas but was diverted to Hefazat's fund and allegedly used to fund militancy.

Meanwhile, the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) officials are still waiting to get details of financial transactions and assets from the Central Bank of Bangladesh and other authorities to interrogate Hefazat leaders like Babunagari and Mamunul on charges of embezzlement from the organisation's funds, various madrassas, orphanages, Islamic institutions and foreign aid, and corruption.

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