Hifazat-e Islam's Joint Secretary General Mamunul Haque incited Kawmi madrasa students to riot by exploiting the opposition to Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi's visit to Dhaka in a bid to overthrow the government and seize power.
The hardline Islamist leader, who is on remand, divulged the information along with other shocking revelations during interrogation, said Harun Ur Rashi, deputy commissioner of DMP's Tejgaon Division, at a media briefing on Tuesday.
"Mamunul used to provoke the leaders and workers of Hifazat. He used to say that if Sheikh Hasina's government fell, no one could come to power without the support of Hifazat."
Mamunul, also the general secretary of the Islamist group's Dhaka metropolitan wing, has drawn scrutiny over the vandalism and violence perpetrated by Hifazat activists as well his multiple marriages after being caught with a woman, who he claimed is his second wife, at a resort in Sonargaon earlier this month, reports bdnews24.com.
Police arrested him on Sunday from the capital's Mohammadpur in a case filed with Mohammadpur Police Station in 2020. On Monday, a court issued a remand order allowing police to grill him for seven days.
"Mamunul was questioned on the allegations made by the plaintiff in the case and he was also shown the video of the attack that day. Asked why supporters of Saad [Maulana Saad Kandhalvi] in the mosque were beaten up, he said that was not right."
"Mamunul and his supporters are basically followers of Zubair [Maulana Zubairul Hasan], another Tabligh faction. So, Mamunul thought that it would weaken Saad's faction if they were beaten and kicked out of the mosque,"
During the interrogation, Mamunal was shown videos of some of his sermons in which he incited ordinary Muslims.
"He tried to provoke them by branding Shahriar Kabir (president of Ekattorer Ghatak Dalal Nirmul Committee) a chicken thief and calling for (Awami League leader) Hasanul Haque Inu and former Justice Shamsuddin Chowdhury Manik to be beaten with shoes on sight. Asked about the remarks, Mamunul said he made them out of passion."
Mamunul will also be asked if there any other political party is backing him, according to the police. If anyone is found to be using him for political purposes, they will also be brought to justice, the police official said.
Hifazat leaders and activists staged riots in different parts of the country in March over the visit of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi to Bangladesh. At least 16 people were killed in the violence.
Police have since arrested several top leaders of the party in various cases.