A court here has remanded in judicial custody 38 men accused of lynching a man for allegedly discerating the holy Quran last year.
Lalmonirhat senior judicial amli court-3 judge Joynal Abedin sent the accused to judicial custody, turning down their bail pleas, when they surrendered before the court on Wednesday.
Lalmonirhat court inspector Md Musa said the 38 men, accused of lynching the man, attacking cops and vandalising the Burimari Union Parishad building in Patgram upazila, were on the run for a long time.
On October 29 last year, a mob lynched Sahidunnabi Jewel, 50, a former librarian of Rangpur Cantonment Public School and College, and burnt his body in the upazila accusing him of "disrespecting the Quran".
Police have so far arrested 50 people in connection with the crime. Besides, 12 more accused have voluntarily surrendered before the court. Some of the accused are also out on bail.
What happened that day?
Jewel came to Burimari in the afternoon on October 29 last year with Sultan Zubair Abdar. After offering Asr prayer at the central mosque, he went to get a Quran from a shelf, said Sumonta Kumar Mohonto, officer-in-charge of Patgram Police Station.
As he was trying to take one out, a number of Quranic and Hadith books fell at his feet, leading to an argument between him and the Muezzin. Locals took Jewel and Sultan to the Union Parishad office adjacent to the mosque as the argument escalated.
A rumour was spread in the market and nearby village that the two men were arrested for "disrespecting the Quran" by the time, according to police and locals.
At one stage, a group of people swooped on the Union Parishad office. They broke open the door and beat Jewel to death on the spot.
The mob did not stop there. It dragged the body to the Patgram-Burimari highway and set it afire. The people also demonstrated in the area.
On information, police, Border Guard Bangladesh (BGB) and firefighters rushed to the spot but failed to control the situation.
Police also fired 17 shots in the air to disperse the mob. Ten policemen, including the OC, were injured as the mob kept hurling brick chips.