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392 mobile courts in 98 UZ polls

Staff Correspondent

The government on Sunday asked the district magistrates to assign 392 executive magistrates to run as many mobile courts in 98 upazilas for law and order maintenance ahead of the February 19 local elections.
A public administration ministry order directed the district magistrates to deploy four executive magistrates at each of the 98 upazilas in 40 districts in the first phase of the staggered local government polls.
The mobile courts would have the responsibility to maintain order and check crimes during the elections in the  upazilas.
The PA ministry issued the order following a request from the Election Commission, said officials.
In each upazila a magistrate has been asked to run a mobile court for 18 days from February 3 to maintain order.
Under the arrangement three more magistrates would assigned to run mobile courts in each upazila for four days from February 17 as the EC has asked, said the PA ministry order signed by senior assistant secretary Muhammad Rezaul Karim.
To  be run under the Mobile Court Act 2009, the mobile courts have to check e electoral law violations, the order said.
The EC set February 3 as the last date for withdrawal of candidatures.
In January, following a government decision the EC took the initiative to hold the first phase of the local government polls in 98 upazilas.
The polls are set to elect upazila chairmen, vice-chairmen and woman vice-chairmen and the local councillors.
Moving away from its position of boycotting elections under a party government, the main opposition BNP has decided to contest the local elections allowing no further walkover to ruling Awami League.
The latest BNP decision would pose a big challenge for the ruing AL, said its policymakers.
Observers feel opposition BNP has given a cause for Headache to ruling AL, steadily losing voter support.

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