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Three leaders of ex-DUCSU VP Nur's group behind attack on Ctg puja venue: police

  • >> Reuters
    Published: 2021-10-22 12:49:33 BdST

Police have arrested 10 people, including 3 leaders of former DUCSU vice president Nurul Haque Nur's organisation Youth Rights Council, over their alleged involvement in the attack on the puja venue at Chattogram's JM Sen Hall.

The attack was orchestrated by the three leaders of Nur's organisation on Oct 15, the day of the Bijoya Dashami, according to Kotwali Police chief Nezam Uddin.

The arrestees were identified as Md Nasir,  25, Mizanur Rahman, 37, and Md Rasel, 25, all members of Youth Rights Council's Chattogram unit, Yar Mohammad, 18, Md Mizan, 18, Giyas Uddin, Yasin Arafat, 19,  Habibullah Mizan, 21, Md Imon, 21 and Imran Hossain.

They were apprehended during raids conducted in different parts of Chattogram city and Satkania.

Nezam said the attackers were identified from the CCTV footage and photos of the incident after the attack. So far, police have arrested 100 people in connection with the incident, according to him.

“The mastermind of the attack was Nasir, Mizanur and Rasel of Youth Rights Council. They organised a rally and procession just after the Jummah prayers that day. The attack on the venue stemmed from that rally."

Several temples and puja venues came under attack on the afternoon of Oct 13 amid mounting tension after a video of the Quran at a Puja venue in Cumilla went viral. Many shared the video calling for attacks on Hindu sites alleging sacrilege.

Police said seven people died as communal violence spread to other parts of Bangladesh. The law enforcers have arrested 450 people in 72 cases over the attacks and clashes.

After the Jummah prayers at the Anderkilla Shahi Jame Mosque on Oct 13, the attackers tried to break through the gate of JM Sen Hall's puja venue when police fired blank shots and tear-gas shells to disperse them.

Kotwali police filed a case against 83 people and hundreds of unnamed suspects in connection with the incident.

Imran Mazed Rahul, a relative of a leader of a local traders' organisation, was arrested later that day.

Rahul revealed that the procession was organised by locals from Khalifa Patti and Ghat Forhad Beg, Nezam said.

Mizanur, a member of Nur's organisation, was once involved with Islami Chhatra Shibir, the student affiliate of Jamaat-e-Islami. He was also an admin of the Facebook group 'Basher Kella'.

Nur could not be reached for comment on the matter. However, in a rally in front of Dhaka University's Raju Memorial Sculpture on Monday, he said the attacks on the Hindu temples were "staged" and had taken place with "political support".