Fifteen BNP and Jamaat leaders including Barkat Ullah Bulu instigated the communal attacks in Noakhali's Chowmuhani temples, police said today quoting confessional statement of an accused.
"Detained Swechchasebak Dal leader Foisal Inam Komol gave a confessional statement before court mentioning the names of BNP-Jamaat leaders," Noakhali Police Superintendent Md Shahidul Islam made the disclosure in a press briefing.
Another arrestee admitted that they looted Tk1.35 lakh from Ram Thakur Temple on Chowmuhani Bank road on the day of attack.
A copy of the Holy Quran was found on an idol at the Nanuar Dighi puja mandap in Cumilla on 13 October.
Centring the incident, zealots carried out provocative and distorted propaganda and attacked puja mandaps and Hindu communities in some districts. Some temples in Noakhali's Chowmuhani were vandalised too.
Noakhali police arrested eight more people from different areas in the last 24 hours in connection with the attacks.
The police superintendent said that Komol, arrested in a case filed under Digital Security Act (DSA), was produced before Noakhali Senior Judicial Magistrate court Judge Saidin Nahi on Monday night.
"The court recorded his confessional statement under Section 164. In his statement, he mentioned the names of 15 BNP-Jamaat men including Bulu," the SP added.
Komol shared provocative posts after the Cumilla incident to trigger communal violence.
A case was filed under DSA with Begumganj Model Police Station on Monday mentioning Komol as the instigator of the attacks.
The Cumilla incident triggered a spate of communal attacks on puja mandaps and temples in several parts of the country that continued for 4-5 days. At least seven people died during these attacks.
Police arrested the man who planted the Quran at the Nanuar Dighi puja mandap.
At least 71 cases have been filed in different districts over the attacks and more than 500 people have so far been arrested.