HC stays polls in B'baria
The High Court yesterday postponed today's polls at Brahmanbaria municipality for three weeks upon a writ petition.
To protest the stay order, BNP called for a half-day hartal in Brahmanbaria town, which it later called off as per instruction of the party central leaders.
Haroon Al Rashid, district BNP president and vice chairman of central BNP, has informed that the central body suggested that the hartal would be going against the HC order and hence they withdrew it.
Meanwhile, rebel mayoral candidates of Awami League also held separate press conferences denouncing the stay order at Brahmanbaria Press Club yesterday.
An HC bench of Justice AHM Shamsuddin Chowdhury Manik and Justice Sheikh Md Zakir Hossain stayed the polls at Brahmanbaria municipality for three weeks following a writ petition by Brahmanbaria district unit AL agriculture secretary Zahirul Islam Bhuiyan.
The petitioner sought the stay on the plea that since the parliamentary by-election to Brahmanbaria constituency-3 would be held on January 27, there is a possibility of violence over campaign activities if the election to the municipality is held on January 18 (today).
After the petition hearing, the bench issued a rule upon the Election Commission to explain within two weeks why it should not be directed to postpone the municipality election for later on.
Hearing the news of the stay, BNP adherents and supporters of BNP-supported candidate and incumbent mayor of Brahmanbaria municipality Hafizur Rahman Molla Kochi took to the streets with brooms and shoes in the district headquarters.
Kochi and two other AL rebel mayoral candidates Naiar Kabir and Mahmudul Haq held separate press briefings denouncing the last moment stay on the polls.
Meanwhile, the Supreme Court yesterday cleared the way for holding election to Sandwip municipality in Chittagong on schedule today.
Justice SK Sinha, chamber judge of the Appellate Division of SC, yesterday stayed for six weeks a High Court order that had earlier stayed the process for holding election to this municipality.
The judge passed the order following a petition filed by the election commission seeking stay on the HC order.
In response to a writ petition filed by M Atiqullah, a voter of Sandwip municipality, the HC on January 10 stayed its election process for three months.