Iqbal Hossain, who is on a seven-day remand in police custody in a case over the Cumilla puja mandap incident, has refused to name anyone instructing him to place the Quran on an idol.
Four people including Iqbal are being grilled in connection with putting the Quran inside the Nanuar Dighi puja mandap, which triggered incidents of violence in several places of the county claiming at least eight lives so far.
Meanwhile, a Rangpur court on Monday placed 13 more suspects on a three-day-remand to quiz them in custody over violence on the Hindu community in Pirganj upazila.
Investigating the puja mandap incident, which triggered the spate of violence, police concluded from CCTV footage that it was Iqbal who placed the Quran on an idol. Police arrested Iqbal from Cox's Bazar on 21 October, eight days after the incident.
Another suspect in the case, Ekram, who called 999, has been in police custody since 13 October, the day of the incident. Two days later, Humayun and Faisal, both caretakers at a mosque, were detained.
The grilling of the arrestees is mainly focused on Iqbal as he is the prime suspect in the case filed on charges of hurting religious sentiment, our Cumilla correspondent reports quoting police sources.
While other suspects are also being questioned, no one has revealed any names as to who might have instructed or instigated such an act.
Earlier on Sunday, the case was handed over to the Criminal Investigation Department (CID).
Police also recovered the 'goda' of Hanuman's idol from a bush adjacent to the 'majar bari' pond. In CCTV footage Iqbal was seen carrying the 'goda' which he took from the idol inside the mandap while placing the Quran on the idol.
"We are investigating with the goal of unearthing who instigated the incident," CID's Cumilla Superintendent of Police Shah Md Rezwan said.
"Iqbal didn't reveal anyone's name as of 3 pm Monday," he said, adding that Ekram and the other two are also being grilled.
Thirteen more remanded over Pirganj attack:
Thirteen more accused have been placed on a three-day remand in a case filed over the attack on the Hindu community in Pirganj upazila of Rangpur last week, reports our Rangpur Correspondent.
Judge Fazley Elahi Khan of Pirganj Cognizance Court granted the remand plea when police produced the accused before the court seeking a seven-day remand on Monday.
Shahidur Rahman, general recording officer (GRO) of the court, confirmed the matter to The Business Standard.
The suspects allegedly made provocative posts on Facebook with the intent to incite communal hatred before the attacks on the Hindu community.
So far 65 people have been arrested in three cases filed over the incident. Of the accused, 50 have been remanded.
On 17 October, 18 Hindu houses in Pirganj were set on fire, centring on a Facebook post by a Hindu youth. Police also arrested the youth, identified as Paritosh Sarker (19) on 18 October. On 19 October, Paritosh Sarker gave his statement under Section 164 of the Code of Criminal Procedure confessing to inciting violence through Facebook posts.
Rapid Action Battalion (RAB) members arrested the mastermind of the Pirganj attack, Saikat Mandal, during a drive in Tongi, Gazipur on Friday.
RAB said local Chhatra League leader Saikat had been waiting for a "turbulent time" to destroy communal harmony. Paritosh's Facebook post plus the communal tensions centring on the Cumilla incident provided him with the opportune "timing".