Gonotantrik Oikya Front – a platform of Hajj Agencies Association of Bangladesh (HAAB) members – has sought Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina's intervention for cancelling some sections of the proposed Hajj and Umrah Management Law 2020.
Making the call at a press conference held at the capital's Dhaka Reporters Unity on Sunday, former HAAB president Abdus Sobhan Bhuiyan Hasan said the platform will launch tougher movement, including human chains and rallies, if their demand is not met.
He continued, "The agencies manage 90% of the hajj pilgrims. However, a number of unconstitutional sections and subsections have been added to the proposed Hajj and Umrah Management Law 2020 while keeping the agency owners in the dark.
"If this law is passed, the hajj management sector will be severely impacted. This in turn will tarnish the image of Bangladesh government and the prime minister."
Claiming that a certain quarter in the Ministry of Religious Affairs is behind this proposed law, Abdus Sobhan said, "These officials have kept the new state minister in the dark about this matter too. The law is currently being vetted by the law ministry.
"We discussed this matter with the new state minister and the secretary of religious affairs ministry, and met with the chairman and members of the parliamentary standing committee concerned. They had promised us a solution, but no effective measures have been taken as yet."
Abdus Sobhan pointed out the Gonotantrik Oikya Front has called this press conference to highlight the issue.
The platform's leader and Hajj Jatri Kalyan Parishad President Dr Abdullah Al Naser reiterated the same opinion, and demanded cancellation of the proposed law.
Responding to a query about HAAB's role as a stakeholder in this matter, former secretary of Association of Travel Agents of Bangladesh (ATAB) Aslam Khan and Gonotantrik Oikya Front leader Freedom Fighter Tajul Islam said HAAB leaders were in the dark about the proposed law.
After the platform informed HAAB leaders about the issue, they began a discussion with the government seeking to cancel some sections and subsections of the law. This discussion is still ongoing, Gonotantrik Oikya Front said at the event.