Tuesday, 24 May, 2022

Hamdard plagued by irregularities

Managing Director Yousuf Harun Bhuiyan is the mastermind behind corruption

  • Staff Correspondent
  • 22 February, 2022 12:00 AM
  • Print news
Hamdard plagued by irregularities
Yousuf Harun Bhuiyan

Hamdard Laboratories (Waqf) Bangladesh, which was established through investment of crores of taka, is now plagued by massive corruption and irregularities, and family dynasty.

There are allegations of establishing family dynasty in the organisation and illegally clinging to power. Hamdard Managing Director (MD) Hakim Md Yousuf Harun Bhuiyan and his three children are holding important posts.

It is widely alleged that by using the important positions at Hamdard, raw materials worth crores of taka have been imported while machines and equipment as well as land construction materials and chemicals have been purchased through secret tenders and widespread corruption took place in printing and publication of calendar, diary and other materials.

Besides, Yousuf Harun has been holding the post of Hamdard MD for years through forging his age. There is also an allegation of embezzling money meant for the welfare fund of workers. In the context of embezzlement of hundreds of crores of taka and multifarious irregularities, an investigation committee of the Ministry of Religious Affairs and the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) launched probe separately in 2019.   

It was learnt that Hamdard is a Unani Waqf organisation which is different from such other organisations. The reason is that other organisations are mosque, madrasa and land-related ones. And, Hamdard is a commercial organisation that produces and sells Unani medicines. The organisation is also a trustee. Its managing director is like that of other commercial Waqf or trustee organisations. Through a gazette issued in 2012, the then Waqf Administrator declared Yousuf Harun as the lifetime MD which is out of the jurisdiction of the Waqf Administrator. A Waqf Administrator will have to employ a “Mutawalli” of the Waqf organisation. But there is no provision of appointing anyone as the lifetime MD. In the Waqf special rules act of 2013, there is no provision of appointing an individual as the lifetime MD. Besides, as per the Bangladesh Service Rules, there is no provision of remaining in a job at Hamdard beyond 60 years of age. Even after deception and hiding real information, the age of Yousuf Harun stands at 68. It was learnt that his actual age is 80-82 years. After analysing such information, it is evident that Yousuf Harun is illegally holding the post of the Hamdard MD. It also manifests wide irregularities in the organisation.   

Deception with age

According to his National Identity (NID) card, Yousuf Harun was born on March 1, 1953. In 1972, he joined the Gulistan branch of Hamdard as a Counter Salesman at a monthly salary of Tk 170. As per the NID card, he was 18-19 years old at that time, which is actually false. The reason is that during the Pakistan period, he passed the title (Masters) from an Alia madrasa and later served as a 'Daroga' of Pakistan Police. His appointment as the 'Daroga' in 1971 was temporary and at that period, he worked as a puppet of anti-liberation elements. Evaluating everything, it is clear that in no circumstance his age was 18 or 19 during the period of his joining Hamdard in 1972. He did his NID card showing a fake education certificate.

Marrying a controversial woman and giving her huge wealth

Yousuf Harun married a controversial woman named Quamrun Nahar Polin without divorce from her former husband. Her father is Abdul Awal Bhuiyan. Her date of birth is March 3, 1980. Shafi Ullah Bhuiyan was her first husband. Later, she married a man named Nazim Uddin Ripon. Concealing the name of her first husband, she applied for correcting the NID card incorporating the name of Ripon as her husband. Quamrun Nahar Polin did not take any divorce from Ripon. Yousuf Harun married Quamrun Nahar Polin who did not bother to take divorce from her former husband. Over the incident, Ripon filed a case with a Lakshmipur court against Yousuf Harun and Quamrun Nahar Polin on May 16, 2019.

Embezzlement of Workers’ Welfare Fund money

In 1998, a welfare fund was established for Hamdard workers and employees. Five percent from their basis salaries was deducted for the fund. Instead of giving retirement benefit from this fund, each of the beneficiaries was supposed to get residential plot. But, that money was also misappropriated by Yousuf Harun as per the two investigation reports.

For plots of the workers and employees, 205 bighas of land had been purchased in Pirojpur and Dudhghata mauzas of Sonargaon upazila in Narayanganj. Major (retd) Iqbal Mahmud Chowdhury on June 22 and June 30, 2020 submitted two reports on forgery and massive irregularities in purchasing the land. In his reports, he mentioned that the purchased land is not undisputed and its liability and responsibility fall on the organisation and its Accounts Department, meaning the managing director himself. There is no proper bill-voucher of the land purchase. Sources said no deed of the land was made in favour of any individual or organisation. The deed was made directly in the name of the Workers’ Welfare Fund. But no deed can be done in the name of a fund or any unregistered organisation. All the 237 deeds are false and fabricated. Till now, no plot was allotted to the workers and employees. Yousuf Harun has accumulated wealth in his own name and that of other members of his family. It has been alleged that the wealth was amassed with the money of the workers and employees.     

Yousuf Harun owns huge wealth

Presently, Yousuf Harun is the owner of huge land, buildings and many flats located in Dhaka, Narayanganj and Lakshmipur that he purchased with the money of Hamdard. There are Unani and Ayurvedic factories on 7 bighas of land in Narayanganj (Manohor Khan's Bagh, Madanpur and Bandar thana). At Nayagaon near Meghnaghat, there is a 17-bigha plot of high land on the bank of the river. There are a high-rise building, a mosque, a madrasa and a college on 30 bighas of land at Duttapara in Lakshmipurr. He has built a madrasa on 60 bighas of land at Charmutia in Lakshmipurr. Local people and administration allege that militants are being trained in guise of madrasa education. Besides, he has established Rawshan Zahan Eastern Medical College Hospital after the name of his mother. In Dhaka, there are many plots in the names of all the children of Yousuf Harun. At Banani NAM Bhaban (Holding 2B, Flat-B3, Block I, Road-1), there is more than one plot in his own name. At Segunbagicha (675, Pioneer Road), there is another house on 8 kathas of land. 

Employment of Jamaat-Shibir activists at Hamdard

Hakim Md Yousuf Harun, a close associate of anti-independence forces, is employing the people loyal to Jamaat-Shibir one after another. And, he is doing so by cunningly replacing pro-independence officers and employees. He has made Amirul Momenin Manik acting director of Hamdard's Information and Public Relations department. Manik is a former Shibir leader. He is an artiste of Samannita Sangskritik Sangsad run by Shibir. He is also the chief of the controversial YouTube channel ‘Change TV’ which is engaged in spreading constant propaganda against the government. The videos of the songs that he sang at Shibir's central conference are still available on YouTube. Hamdard's Deputy Director Mizanur Rahman is a former Shibir cadre at Govt Alia Madrasa. In recent times, Abdul Mazid Khan, a staunch supporter and worker of Jamaat-e-Islami, has been employed as the company secretary of Hamdard. He is also a close associate of Jamaat 'Rukon' Dr Anwarul Azim. Many other Jamaat-Shibir loyalists are also employed at Hamdard.

It was learnt from the Hamdard authorities in India and Pakistan that no person aged over 60 years has the scope of employment in the organisation. There is no instance that a single individual remained in the post of “Mutawalli” and Managing Director for life.