Quota reform protests continue
Published : 11 Apr 2018, 12:35
Students and job seekers have again taken to the streets on Wednesday to call for reforms to the quota system for government jobs.
Though the protests have been going on for some time, the latest round began on Sunday, with a large-scale protest at Dhaka University. The protest turned violent that evening after police used rubber bullets and tear gas to disperse the demonstrators. Clashes broke out on the university campus and continued overnight.
On Monday students from universities across the country began holding local protests in solidarity with those at Dhaka University.
A delegation from the Dhaka University protesters met with government officials on Monday afternoon and decided to postpone protests until May 7. But not all of the protesters agreed and the decision was reversed again on Tuesday.
Students from Savar’s Jahangirnagar University have boycotted class and occupied the Dhaka-Aricha Highway to call for reforms to the quota system for government jobs.
The protest has blocked traffic on the highway since 10am on Wednesday.
The protesters say they are also demonstrating against the remarks of two ministers regarding the protests and ‘attacks by police and the Bangladesh Chhatra League’.
The protest programme and boycott was announced on Tuesday night. Several thousand protesters gathered in front of the Jahangirnagar University central library around 9am accordingly.
The protesters marched around campus at 10am and came to the main gate before occupying the Dhaka-Aricha Highway at 10:30am.
A large deployment of police and members of the university proctor’s team are also present.
“We are trying to move the students off the road and bring them back to campus over concern for their safety,” said Proctor Sikder Md Zulkernine. “We have asked the students to refrain from violence.”
Protesters calling for quota reforms have once again halted the Chittagong University shuttle train.
Students from Chittagong University and various other educational institutions occupied the Sholshohor Rail Station on Wednesday morning.
‘Council for the Protection of Bangladesh General Students’ Rights’ Chattagram branch convener Tofayel Ahmed told bdnews24.com that protest programmes would be held in Chattagram, as they would be in Dhaka.
Sholshohor Rail Station Master Md Shahabuddin said that students were holding marches and rallies at the station and that the train had been halted on the rail line.
Students from Chittagong University had joined in during nationwide protests calling for quota reforms on Monday. They were later joined by students from other educational institutions.
They had held a 10-hour obstruction programme before dispersing after a faction of Dhaka University protesters halted their demonstrations.
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