Anatomy of planned desecration and riots in Bangladesh
The Bangladesh Police said they have identified the man who placed the Quran in one of the Durga Puja pandals in Comilla on October 13, an act which triggered violence and led to the killing of three people. He has been identified as 35-year-old Iqbal Hossain from Sujanagar area of the city.
According to local media, 41 suspects have been arrested for the Comilla incident and four of them are Hossain's associates. Two of the associates have been identified as Fayez and Ekram Hossain.
According to Dhaka watchers, the Sheikh Hasina government is trying to unearth the conspiracy behind the planned desecration and then fan up communal flames against the minority Hindu community in the south of the country. While evidence is being pieced together, there is a strong possibility that rabid Islamists belonging to Jamaat-e-Islami Bangladesh, who are supporters of the Taliban, would be behind this orchestration of communal violence. The objective was not only to embarrass the Sheikh Hasina government but also put a strain on excellent bilateral relations between two neighbours.
The media in Bangladesh quoted police officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity, to report that the dark green-coloured Quran, which was found placed below the feet of Lord Ganesha in the Puja pandal in Comilla, was not printed in Bangladesh but brought from Saudi Arabia by Fayez.
The officials said that Fayez returned to Bangladesh from Saudi Arabia a year ago and set up a mobile service shop in Comilla. On the day of the incident, he brought the people of the area to the pandal and Ekram called up the emergency services numbers 999 to inform the police that a Quran was found in the Puja area.
They said the Quran is believed to be Fayez's personal copy of the scripture.
"We didn't see the scripture. Suddenly, two young men got excited and started shouting, 'Quran found in puja mandapa, Quran found in puja mandapa'," media quoted Subodh Roy, president of the puja celebration committee as saying.
Fayez later hosted a Facebook Live video, in which he said provocative things, media reports in Bangladesh said. Both Fayez and Ekram are currently in police custody.
Iqbal Hossain was identified by the police after analysing video footages of the CCTV cameras installed at the Durga Puja venues. He has not yet been arrested.
In the footage, Hossain is seen taking the Quran from a local mosque and walking into a Durga Puja venue. He was later seen walking away with the club of Lord Hanuman, a report in Dhaka Tribune said.