• Monday, Nov 29, 2021
  • Last Update : 02:19 am

Iqbal Hossain, key suspect in anti-Hindu violence, brought to Comilla

  • Published at 01:25 pm October 22nd, 2021
Iqbal Hossain
Police escort Iqbal Hossain on the premises of Comilla Police Lines on Friday, October 22, 2021 Dhaka Tribune

He was arrested from Cox’s Bazar late on Thursday

Iqbal Hossain, the man responsible for keeping a Quran at a Comilla puja venue that triggered attacks on Hindus, was brought to Comilla Police Lines on Friday following his arrest in Cox’s Bazar the previous day.

A team of Comilla police had left with Iqbal from the office of Cox’s Bazar superintendent of police around 6:30am.

Cox’s Bazar police arrested Iqbal while he was wandering around in the Sugandha Beach area around 10pm on Thursday.

Photo shows Iqbal Hossain of Comilla at Sadar police station in Cox's Bazar following arrest on Thursday, October 21, 2021 Courtes

Currently, he is being interrogated for potential leads in police custody amid tight security.

Comilla Additional SP M Tanvir Islam said further details would be provided to the media after Iqbal is quizzed.

Comilla police said on Wednesday Iqbal was identified from 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. 

Also read - Who is Iqbal, the man behind the Quran incident that triggered violence?

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.

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

The violence later spread across Bangladesh, leaving seven dead and many Hindu houses and businesses vandalized.

Screengrab from security camera footage shows Iqbal Hossain, walking away with a club from the Nanuardighi Durga Puja venue in Comilla on Wednesday, October 13, 2021 Dhaka TribuneIqbal’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.

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