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Dhaka Mayoral poll date changed after protests

The decision was taken late last evening in an emergency meeting of the EC held in Dhaka.

Briefing the media after EC meeting on Saturday Chief Election Commissioner KM Nurul Huda said the date was shifted so that no one’s religious sentiment is hurt.

 In accordance with the new dates, the government deferred the SSC and its equivalent examinations from February 1 to February 3.

There were widespread protests in Dhaka against the earlier date coinciding with Saraswati Puja which is a major festival of Hindus in Bangladesh.

Students of Dhaka University had gone on fast into death demanding change of polling date. Political parties including Awami League and the BNP led Jatiya Oikyafront had  also supported the demand for change in date.

 Earlier, the High Court had refused to change the date of Mayoral elections for Dhaka.

The strike by Dhaka University students was withdrawn last night after the announcement of new dates by the EC.

Bangladesh Hindu-Bouddha-Christian Oikya Parishad also withdrew their week-long protests against the election dates.

Both the major parties of Bangladesh  the ruling Awami League and opposition Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) welcomed the decision of the EC to change the poll date for Saraswati Puja.

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