Quran-keeper identified at Durga Puja site in Bangladesh

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The person who kept the Quran in the Durga Puja pandal in Kumilla city of Bangladesh has been identified.

Police officials say that the accused was identified on the basis of CCTV footage and now an operation is on to nab him.

The person who kept the Quran in the Durga Puja pandal in Kumilla city of Bangladesh has been identified.

Police officials say that the accused was identified on the basis of CCTV footage and now an operation is on to nab him.

After this incident of placing the Quran in Durga Puja pandals, many Hindu temples, pandals and houses were attacked in Bangladesh.

The police have said in a statement that at least seven people have died in the violence in the last one week.

Kumilla’s deputy commissioner Mohammad Kamrul Hasan and police superintendent Farooq Ahmed told BBC Bangla that they had identified one person involved in the case and a search was on for him.

Who is the person who keeps the Quran in the Durga Puja pandal?
Both police officers declined to reveal the name of the person identified. However, the name of the accused is being printed in the local media of Bangladesh quoting the police.
Bangladesh’s newspaper Daily Observer has quoted police sources as saying that the accused name is Iqbal Hussain and his father’s name is Noor Ahmed Alam. The accused is a resident of Sujannagar area of Kumilla.
In The Daily Star, the age of the accused has been given as 30 years.
The Dhaka Tribune quoted the police as saying that Iqbal does not have a permanent job and keeps roaming here and there. It is not yet clear whether he belongs to any political party or not.
According to the Dhaka Tribune report, Iqbal’s mother Amina Begum claims that her son is addicted to drugs and used to harass his own family members in different ways.
According to Amina Begum, “He likes to live in different places of the country.”
Amina Begum claims that Iqbal has had some mental problem for the last 10 years because 10 years ago some neighbors stabbed him in the stomach.
Iqbal Hussain’s family says that if he is really guilty then he should be punished. His brother Raihan said that he may have been instigated by some groups.
Iqbal’s younger brother Raihan said that he has been helping the police to find his brother since Friday.

The scene after the vandalism in the pandal

What was shown in the CCTV footage?

The CCTV footage of this entire incident has now started circulating on social media as well.

It can be seen in the footage that a man enters the puja pandal late at night with something in his hand and then comes back with Hanuman’s mace.

This Quran was found in the Durga Puja Mandap of Kumilla on Wednesday, the eighth day of worship i.e. Ashtami. Later, a group of people gathered and ransacked the puja pandal and accused the people of insulting the Quran.

Immediately after this incident, there were attacks on Hindu temples in many places including Chandpur in Bangladesh. Police fired in the air to control the violence and at least five people were killed and several others were injured.

What have the police told?

After this, the police issued a statement on the same day and told what happened in Kumilla on 13 October and what steps they have taken in this regard.

Police said that there were vandalism and attacks in Kumilla, Hajiganj in Chandpur, Begumganj in Noakhali, Peerganj in Rangpur, Cox’s Bazar, Habiganj and Ghazipur.

At least seven people have died in the incidents of violence in Bangladesh in the last one week, out of which two people are Hindus.

Apart from this, at least 50 people have also been injured during the police’s attempt to control the violence.

The police statement gave a detailed account of the incident in Cumilla and said that despite the administration’s best efforts and alertness to control the situation, untoward incidents have occurred in many parts of the country.

According to the police, a total of 72 cases have been registered in this connection till October 19 and 450 people have been arrested.

A special police unit has been set up to find out the reason behind this incident and cyber surveillance has been intensified to prevent the spread of rumours on social media.

The police in its release has appealed to the people to help the police without paying attention to rumours, misinformation and fake news.

Vandalised Pandal

What happened at the Durga Pandal of Kumilla?

Many Hindu families have settled around the makeshift pandal on the river bank in Kumilla that started this incident of violence in many cities of Bangladesh. These families have been doing Durga Puja there by making temporary pandals for more than 20 years.

Achintya Das, one of the organizers of the puja, told that people kept coming to the pandal till about midnight on the day of Saptami. When people stopped coming, the organizers surrounded the main courtyard of the pandal with curtains.

Just outside the stage, there was an idol of Ganesh ji which was open, someone’s Quran was left there.

He told that a guard of a private company was also deployed at the venue, who was present there since morning but that guard was not there when the Quran was kept.

999 Helpline and Facebook Live

On the next morning of Saptami, a young man called 999 helpline number and told that he had seen the Quran kept in the pandal. Another young man made Facebook live on this entire incident.

But there is no information about the eyewitness of this incident. It is only known that one youth called 999 and the other did Facebook live and later the police arrested two youths Fayaz and Ikram.

Achintya Das told BBC Bangla that the in-charge of Kotwali police station of Comilla had reached the spot after receiving this news at 7.30 am. The police officer then removed the Quran from the pandal. During this, a young man was doing Facebook Live there.

A member of a Hindu family living next to the pandal, on condition of anonymity, said they received news early in the morning that the Quran had been placed at the place of worship. Within no time, tension spread in the entire area and the pandal was attacked.

Another member of the Puja Organizing Committee had gone there at around 7.30 in the morning after getting the news of the incident on the phone.

He told BBC Bangla, “As soon as the news of the Quran being kept spread, a large number of people gathered there in a short time. They demanded to stop the worship.”

“Then the mob stormed the pandal and vandalized the makeshift platform and the idol. Later, pandals and Hindu houses were attacked in several places in Kumilla,” he said.

Sheikh Hasina’s attitude

After the incidents of violence, Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina had said that the perpetrators of this case would be punished severely. Along with this, he has also asked to provide security to the people of the Hindu community.

However, he also linked the violence with the Hindu community in Bangladesh to India, which was probably the first time.

He said that India should also be cautious regarding the security of Hindus in Bangladesh.

The Prime Minister of Bangladesh said that nothing like this should happen in India, which affects her country and the Hindus there.

This time the scale of violence that took place during Durga Puja has not been seen in recent times.

The people of the Hindu community are blaming the failure of the administration for such a large-scale violence.

These questions are also being asked that despite the deployment of security forces in 22 districts after the attack on the Mandap-temple in Kumilla, Hindus were openly attacked and why the government could not stop it?

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