A cultural personality of Narail, on condition of anonymity, told Prothom Alo that the voice heard searching for the garland was of Awami League leader Akter.

Akter, however, denied the allegation and claimed that the voice was of another Awami League leader.

The video showed that Akter, wearing a red t-shirt and black pants, was speaking in front of the mob with a megaphone just before the incident. Some persons present suggested that the student of Class XI whose Facebook status allegedly sparked the incident and the principal be brought out with helmets on. Akter opposed the idea saying, “Nothing is needed, nothing will happen.”

Bangladesh Ganashilpi Sangstha Narail’s president and Narail Abdul Haye City College’s associate professor Malay Kumar Nandi told Prothom Alo, “There is a strong speculation that some people inside the college opposed to the principal, who are involved with the ruling party, were behind the humiliation of the principal.”

Narail police superintendent Prabir Kumar Roy also said Akter’s name has surfaced as an instigator behind the incident.

“We are monitoring everything closely. Whoever is involved with the incident will be identified and brought to justice,” the police superintendent added.

Awami League suspends Akter Hossain

A press release signed by Narail Sadar upazila Awami League’s president Achin Kumar Chakrabarty and secretary Md Omar Faruque suspended Akter from the party on Thursday. The show cause notice served to Akter reads, “A untoward incident of communal hatred was sparked over a status of a student of Mirzapur United College. You are a teacher of that college. Video footage showed that you were present during the incident. The acting principal was later seen brought out from the college building and forced to wear a garland of shoes in your presence. The incident is reprehensible and an insult to the teacher community. Several news reports mentioned your role behind the incident. You cannot avoid the responsibility in the incident. We think you failed to play your due role as president during the incident.”

Akter said he has got the suspension letter but the allegations brought against him are untrue. The political opponents are behind the allegations.

Upazila Awami League president and Mirzapur United College governing body’s president Achin Kumar said Akter has been asked to answer the show cause notice within three days.

Bichali union Awami League’s vice president Moshiar Rahman has been given the responsibility of acting president, he added.

Witnesses and police sources said a eleventh grader of the college on 17 June posted a picture of Nupur Sharma, suspended spokesperson of Indian ruling party Bharatiya Janata Party, and paid respect to her. A recent remark of Nupur insulting Prophet Mohammad created global outrage among the Muslims.

As the Facebook post by the student created uproar in the area, the college’s principal Swapan Kumar Biswas discussed the matter with teachers, father of the student and some members of the governing body. As per the decision taken during the decision, the accused student was handed over to the police on the college premises. A number of college students and some outsiders created an obstruction when the police went to detain the accused student. Later the authorities informed the deputy commissioner and the police super about the incident.

When the principal Swapan Kumar and the accused student were brought out from a room of the first floor of the college building at around 4:00pm, some people placed garlands of shoes around their necks.

Deputy commissioner and the SP were present at the college premises during the incident.