Poultry farms, fish enclosures, and godowns were listed as mosques in the list prepared by the Mithapukur upazila Islamic Foundation
Waktia Jame Mosque was listed under the government cash assistance for imams and muezzins in Fakirpara village under Masumpur union in Rangpur's Mithapukur upazila.
But, unfortunately, the imam, muezzin and the mosque president were completely unaware that their mosque had been allocated cash aid from the government and that it was being secretly withdrawn.
Similarly, Hamidpur Taltola Jame Mosque, Chandtari Uttarpara Jame Mosque, Chandtari Jame Mosque, Balua Paschim Para Jame Mosque, Balua Central Mosque, Bhatarpara Jame Mosque and Hamidpur Jame Mosque in Mithapukur upazila were also enlisted in the government's cash aid program.
However, none of its imams or muezzins received any cash assistance as the contact numbers provided in the list were all falsified as part of the scam.
Moreover, poultry farms, fish enclosures, and godowns were also included as mosques in the list prepared by the Mithapukur upazila Islamic Foundation.
In this way, a large amount of cash assistance allocated for imams and muezzins in the upazila were misappropriated.
However, when the matter came to light, Rezaul Islam, a supervisor of Mithapukur upazila Islamic Foundation, sued two people named Korban Ali and Sekendar Ali for withdrawing cash incentives by committing such fraudulence.
But local imams and muezzins wishing anonymity, alleged the Islamic Foundation authorities itself in collusion with local influential people committed this misappropriation.
When asked why only two people were named in the case, Mithapukur upazila Islamic Foundation Supervisor Rezaul Islam said others who withdrew cash aid money illegally had returned the amount, while allegations against some were not found to be true.
Speaking on the issue, Upazila Nirbahi Officer Mamum Bhuiyan said: "The Criminal Investigation Department (CID) is investigating the matter and they will find out whether other people are involved in the irregularities."
Earlier on May 14, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina made an announcement about providing financial assistance to imams and muezzins of all mosques in the country to cope with the crisis created by the coronavirus-induced shutdown.
To this end, a total of Tk5,630,000 was allocated for 1,126 mosques of Mithapukur upazila, amounting to Tk5,000 for each mosque.