Law enforcement officials are looking for Abul Hossain in order to interrogate him
Law enforcers are searching for Abul Hossain alias Hossain Ali, who first assaulted and interacted with Abu Yunus Md Shahidunnabi Jewel that eventually led to the spread of rumours of Quran desecration and resulted in Jewel's lynching on Thursday in Burimari of Lalmonirhat.
Abul Hossain, 38, son of Habu Miah of Burimari Union, runs a decorator business at Rumel Market, southeast of Burimari Union Parishad, the scene of the incident. He regularly goes to pray at the Burimari Central Jame Mosque, where the events first started to transpire.
Abul's wife Jharna Begum said to Dhaka Tribune that he has been missing since Friday night and she does not have any contact with him at the moment.
Storekeepers, neighbours to Abul's shop in the Rumel Market, have said his phone has been switched off from Friday afternoon. However, they have spoken to Abul over the phone in the early hours of Saturday and since then there has been no trace of him.
Law enforcers, journalists and two probe committees formed by the National Human Rights Commission and the Lalmonirhat district administration are looking for Abul in order to interrogate him.
Abul’s wife Jharna Begum said: "My husband is not guilty of anything. If he is guilty, I will accept justice. But if he is not, then why would he be harassed? He is the sole breadwinner in our family. Where would I go with three daughters and a son?"
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When this correspondent talked to Abul on Thursday, the day when Jewel was beaten to death, he said: "Seeing the stranger (Jewel) hurling abusive words at khadim Zubed Ali, while assuming various identities, I got angry and slapped the outsider right across his face. But I didn’t foresee what was to come afterwards.”
Asked about the rumours about desecrating the Quran, Abul Hossain said: “After handing over the men, the president of the mosque committee Rafiqul Islam Pradhan arrived on scene. He also went with them to the union parishad office. But I can't say or know how the rumour spread or how so many people gathered. I was not there.”