Man suspected of being Cumilla’s Iqbal held from Cox’s Bazar


Cox’s Bazar, Oct 21: Police Thursday night held a man suspecting him to be Iqbal Hossain, who was identified earlier as the one who kept a copy of the Quran at a Durga Puja venue in Cumilla, drawing accusations of desecrating the Quran hurled at the Hundi community, and triggering communal tension and violence across the country.

“He was detained from the Cox’s Bazar sea beach at around 10:30pm and was sent to Cumilla right away,” Rafiqul Islam, Cox’s Bazar additional superintendent of police, told UNB.

“Cumilla police will confirm if the detainee is the key suspect Iqbal,” he added.

Police identified Iqbal, the prime suspect of the Cumilla puja venue incident, Wednesday after scrutinising the closed-circuit television (CCTV) footage.

He 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.

Also, violence against houses and businesses of the Hindu community Hindu communities 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 with a view to stoking communal tensions, said Home Minister Asaduzzaman Khan today.

“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 said.

He said after examining the CCTV footage of the surrounding area it has been 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,” Asaduzzaman added.