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Comilla attacks: Prime suspect Iqbal arrested from Cox’s Bazar

  • Published at 11:14 pm October 21st, 2021
Photo shows Iqbal Hossain of Comilla at the Sadar police station in Cox's Bazar following arrest Courtesy

He was arrested from the beach area at 10:10pm

Police have arrested Iqbal Hossain, the person responsible for keeping the Quran at a Durga Puja venue in Comilla, from Cox’s Bazar.

Comilla Superintendent of Police (SP) Faruk Ahmed said Iqbal was arrested from the Shugandha beach area around 10:10pm on Thursday.

“We’ve sent him to Comilla right away,” Cox’s Bazar Additional Police Superintendent Md Rafiqul Islam told Dhaka Tribune.

Police identified Iqbal as the prime suspect on Wednesday after scrutinizing the CCTV footage.

Also Read - Man wanted for Comilla unrest seen in CCTV video with shrine attendants

Family members of Iqbal claimed that he was mentally unstable and someone might have taken advantage of his condition to make him place the Quran.

A new CCTV footage seen by Dhaka Tribune shows Iqbal Hossain meeting with two caretakers of a local shrine on the night of the incident. 

Screengrab of one of the custodians of the Dargabari Mazar placing the Quran in the mosque Collected

It appears as though the trio met, and that a Quran, believed to be the same holy book used later, was placed in the shrine. 

After a brief meeting inside the mosque – run by the shrine authorities – at 11pm on October 12, Hafez Humayun kept the Quran in a closet while Iqbal was seen leaving the mosque.

Another footage circulated on Wednesday shows Iqbal collecting the Quran from the mosque after several hours, at 2:12am. He then walked outside and placed the Quran on the lap of an idol, Hanuman, at the temporary Durga Puja venue in Nanuardighi.

Also Read - Comilla attacks: Man remanded for Facebook live

On October 13, locals found the Quran at the temple that went viral on social media.

Tensions erupted among a faction of locals and at one stage, the situation began getting out of hand and riots started spreading to a number of puja mandaps in the adjacent areas. 

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 communal violence later spread across the nation that claimed seven lives and many houses and businesses of Hindu community.

Our correspondents Masud Alam, Comilla and Abdul Aziz, Cox’s Bazar contributed to this report

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