Yunus laments 'forceful occupation' of Grameen offices

Despite appeals for help, the authorities have yet to provide any support over the matter, the Nobel laureate says

Senior Correspondent
Published : 15 Feb 2024, 10:06 AM
Updated : 15 Feb 2024, 10:06 AM

Nobel laureate Muhammad Yunus has claimed that Grameen Bank has forcefully taken over the offices of eight entities under the 'Grameen banner' in Dhaka's Mirpur.

Despite appeals for help, the authorities have yet to provide any support over the matter, according to him.

Yunus raised concerns over the issue at a media briefing at the Grameen Telecom Bhaban, which houses the eight offices.

The Nobel laureate said that on Feb 12, a group of people from Grameen Bank bypassed security measures and forced their way into the Grameen Telecom Bhaban, locking up eight of the 16 offices housed in the building.

Yunus added that Grameen Bank does not have legal authority to take over the building, and the companies run independently.

Recently, Grameen Bank appointed new directors for Grameen Telecom and Grameen Kalyan, replacing Yunus as chairman with Prof Dr AKM Saiful Majid.

Yunus described these actions as attempts to harass him publicly and undermine his social enterprises.

The Nobel laureate has been at the forefront of public discourse in recent months after he was handed a six-month jail sentence for labour law violations. The Anti-Corruption Commission is also bringing charges of embezzlement against him.

"My house is being forcibly occupied. We informed the police and filed a general diary. The police came to the building with a copy of the GD but did nothing."

Grameen Telecom's Managing Director Nazmul Islam and Grameen Kalyan's Managing Director AKM Moinuddin Chowdhury joined Yunus at the briefing.

Grameen Bank's Managing Director Noor Mohammad and Chairman Saiful Majeed could not be reached for comment.

Following Yunus's briefing, journalists were barred from approaching the Grameen Bank building by security, who stated that no representatives were available for comment.

Additionally, a group of women protested in front of the Telecom Bhaban with brooms. Some of them claimed they were owed money by Yunus while others complained about high mobile call rates.

On the protests, Yunus said, "How can a country function like this? They are bringing out broomstick marches against us. We will seek legal recourse."