CID recovers the missing weapon upon information gleaned from key suspect Iqbal
Police have recovered the club that Iqbal Hossain, the man responsible for keeping a Quran at a Comilla puja venue, took from the idol of Hanuman from a Durga Puja pavilion.
The club was found in a bush near Comilla city’s Darogabari Mazar Masjid on Sunday, said Khan Mohammad Rezwan, superintendent of the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) in Comilla.
He said that the club was found exactly where Iqbal said it would be during questioning.
Iqbal admitted to throwing the club in a bush after taking it from Hanuman’s lap and replacing it with the Quran on October 13, said the senior CID officer.
Three others, Ekram, who called 999 after the incident, and Darogabari shrine caretakers, Hafez Humayun and Faisal, have also been accused in the case.
On Saturday Senior Judicial Magistrate Mithila Jahan granted police seven days to grill Iqbal and three others in custody.
Cox’s Bazar police arrested Iqbal on Thursday while he was wandering around in the Sugandha Beach area.
He was brought to Comilla the next day and was turned over to the CID on Sunday as it took over the investigation on orders from the police headquarters .
According to Comilla police, Iqbal was identified from the video footage of security cameras installed around the Durga Puja pavilion in the city’s Nanuardighi neighbourhood.
The temporary puja venue did not have a CCTV camera, but footage from a security camera at a nearby house were analyzed, said investigators.
In the footage, a man is seen taking the Quran from a local mosque and walking to the puja pavilion. He was later seen walking away with a club.
On October 13, a 999 call to police reported that a copy of the Quran was found on an idol of a puja venue in Comilla.
Locals said they found a copy of the Quran on the lap of Hanuman, a central character in the Hindu epic Ramayana, but his weapon, a club, was missing.
Several temples and puja venues in the city came under attack in the afternoon as tension mounted after the video went viral. Many shared the video calling for attacks on Hindu sites on allegations of sacrilege.
The violence later spread across Bangladesh, leaving seven dead and many Hindu houses and businesses vandalized.
Iqbal’s family, however, claim that he is mentally unstable and someone might have taken advantage of his condition to make him place the Quran at the temple.
However, security camera footage obtained by Dhaka Tribune showed Iqbal meeting with two caretakers of a local shrine on the night of the incident.
It appears as though the trio met, and that a Quran, believed to be the same holy book used later, was placed at the shrine.