January 23, 2022, 2:47 pm

Staff Correspondent

2021-10-23 13:47:26 BdST

Cumilla violence4 accused including Iqbal put on 7-day remand

A Cumilla court on Saturday remanded prime suspect Iqbal Hossain and three others in seven-day police custody in connection with a case filed over the alleged desecration of the holy Quran in Cumilla.

Senior Judicial Magistrate Mithila Zahan Nipa sent the four accused to seven-day police custody, rejecting investigating officer Mafizul Islam's prayer for a 10-day remand for custodial interrogation and further investigation in the case.

The three other accused in the case have been identified as Faisal and Hafez Humayun, the two khadims of Darogabari shrine, and Ekram.

Police arrested Iqbal, who allegedly kept the holy Quran at a Durga Puja venue in Cumilla, from Cox’s Bazar district on Thursday night after identifying him by scanning the footage of closed-circuit television (CCTV) cameras.

The three others were arrested from different parts of the country.

Iqbal's alleged act drew accusations of desecrating the holy book hurled at the Hindu community and triggered communal tension and violence across the country.

Iqbal is believed to have placed the holy Quran inside Nanuar Dighi Par puja mandap in Cumilla city in the early hours of October 13, which led to attacks on Durga Puja venues across the country recently.

Cops filed a case in this connection at the Kotwali police station the following day.

Violence against houses and businesses of the Hindu community followed in several districts, including Chandpur, Noakhali, Chattogram and Rangpur, leaving at least seven people dead and many injured. Of the dead, five were Muslim rioters who died in police firing.

Iqbal was most likely instructed to keep the Quran at the mandap by others to stoke communal tensions, according to Home Minister Asaduzzaman Khan.

"Everything was done in a planned way. The man, who had kept the Quran at the temple, might have done it as per others' instruction… there might be provocation behind it. We'll be able to know the motive after his arrest," the home minister had said.

He had said after examining the CCTV footage of the surrounding areas, it was ascertained that the man who kept the holy Quran at the Cumilla temple took it from a mosque.

"The man had been to Mazar mosque thrice that night. It was clear from the CCTV footage that the man took the Quran from the mosque to keep it at the temple."

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