The parliamentary seat was declared vacant on February 22, after Papul was sentenced to jail by a Kuwait court for human trafficking
The parliamentary seat earlier held by Mohammad Shahid Islam, popularly known as Kazi Papul, will go into a by-election on April 11. Papul’s seat was declared vacant after he was removed on being jailed and convicted in Kuwait for human trafficking.
Announcing the schedule on Wednesday, Election Commission Secretary Humayun Kabir Khandaker said the commission was optimistic that the by-polls would be participatory.
The last date of submitting nomination papers for the Lakshmipur 2 constituency is March 18 and the returning officer will examine them on March 19. Candidates can pull out of the race till March 24, according to the Election Commission.
Electronic voting machines (EVMs) will be used in the by-election, for which the regional election officer of Comilla has been assigned as the returning officer.
At the same time, 371 union parishads and 11 municipalities will go for election on April 11.
The House on February 22 declared the Lakshmipur 2 constituency vacant following the January 28 conviction of Papul on charges of human trafficking and money laundering by a Kuwaiti court.
He was sentenced to four years in prison. Papul was also charged with torturing employees of his company, based on complaints from five Bangladeshis who had been trafficked to Kuwait.
He was arrested in Kuwait in June last year. Later, the public prosecutor of Kuwait approached the Central Bank, asking it to freeze his bank accounts. The financial balance of Papul’s company amounts to about 5 million Kuwait dinars, including three million dinars as the company’s capital.
On August 16, 2020, Abul Foyej Bhuiya, an independent candidate at the 11th parliamentary election, filed a writ petition challenging the legality of MP Papul holding his parliamentary seat as he had been accused of providing fake documents and submitting fake educational certificates, which is a violation of the Representation of the People Order, 1972.
On June 9, 2020, the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) in Bangladesh served notices on MP Papul and his family members, seeking their wealth statements.
Papul became a lawmaker in the 2018 general election as an independent candidate. He also launched a successful bid to bring his wife to parliament as an MP in the reserved seats quota for women.