Some 15 BNP and Jamaat leaders, including Barkat Ullah Bulu, involved themselves in instigating the communal attack at Chowmuhani of Begumganj in Noakhali, an arrestee has told police in his confessional statement.
Superintendent of Police Md Shahidul Islam told a press conference at the meeting room of his office in Noakhali town on Tuesday.
Faisal mentioned the involvement of 15 BNP-Jamaat leaders, including Barkat Ullah Bulu, vice-president of BNP National Executive Committee, as instigators of the communal attack.
Faisal is the vice-president of Noakhali Swecchasebak Dal, an associate body of the Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP).
He said Faisal, who was arrested in a case filed under the Digital Security Act, was produced in the court of Senior Judicial Magistrate Mohammad Saeedin Nahi on Monday. The judge recorded the confessional statement of the accused under Section 164 of the Criminal Procedure Code.
In his statement, Faisal gave information about the involvement of 15 BNP-Jamaat leaders as instigators of the communal attack on Chowmuhani.
Since the Cumilla incident, Faisal has been posting provocative posts on Facebook with the aim of destroying communal harmony.
The SP said Faisal Imam was arrested from Rajullapur village under Begumganj upazila on Sunday. He uploaded on Facebook a video of the desecration of the holy Quran in Cumilla. He also gave different provocative posts on Facebook. His posts stoked the communal attacks.
The Swecchasebak Dal leader was sent to jail after the confessional statement.
Eight more persons have been arrested in connection with the recent attacks on temples, idols and Hindus in Chowmuhani municipality area.
Personnel from Sudhram, Hatia, Sonaimuri and Begumganj police stations, the district DB, and Rapid Action Battalion (RAB) arrested them from different areas in the district on Monday night.
The arrested persons are Md Sumon, general secretary of ward No.7 under Sadar upazila’s Dharmapur union unit BNP, Imran Hossain Nishan, Md Rony, and Md Akhtaruzzaman, of Chowmuhani municipality area, Md Yusuf, a BNP activist of the municipality, Rabiul Hossain alias Rony, of Sonaimuri upazila, Md Shahedul Islam, of Sadar upazila in Lakshmipur, and Serajul Haque alias Bechu, publicity secretary of Hatia municipality unit BNP.
A total of 130 people have, so far, been arrested in 18 cases filed over the recent incidents, SP Shahidul said.
SP Shahidul also claimed that during initial questioning, Imran confessed that he along with several others looted Tk 1.35 lakh from Ram Thakur Ashram Mandir at Chowmuhani Bazar on the day of the attack.
It may be mentioned that several thousands of unruly devotees brought out processions from different mosques in Chowmuhani after Juma prayers on October 15, raising the allegation of keeping the Holy Quran in Cumilla puja mandap.