Faced with murder charge, former Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has decided to postpone her return home from the United States with her party claiming that she had done so on the advise of the interim government.
"She has agreed to postpone her schedule for immediate return after a highly placed person in government talked to her and me by telephone and assured us that necessary steps would be taken to protect her honour and image besides neutral investigation into the case," Awami League (AL) General Secretary Abdul Jalil told reporters on Wednesday night.
Jalil said the official, whom he did not name, requested her to delay her return. She was scheduled to return home later this month.
The development came hours after Hasina was charged for killing six persons in a political clash on November 28, 2006, the day when Prime Minister Khaleda Zia relinquished power in favour of a caretaker government.
AL sources said party leaders held an emergency meeting late on Wednesday night and advised Hasina to accept the proposal to delay her return.
Fundamentalist Jamaat-e-Islami, the main partner of Zia's Bangladesh Nationalist Party-led four party alliance, filed the case in which Awami League General Secretary Abdul Jalil was also accused of involvement in the incident.
The murder charges came days after Hasina, who also heads the 19-party opposition alliance, was accused of extortion of 30 million taka (USD 434,000) by a Bangladeshi head of a Malaysian-owned firm.