Protesters agree to halt demo for a month: Quader

Staff Correspondent | Published: 14:03, Apr 09,2018 | Updated: 20:28, Apr 09,2018


Awami League general secretary Obaidul Quader sits with a delegation of protesters seeking review of quotas at Bangladesh Secretariat on Monday.

The protesters seeking reform of quota system in public service at a meeting with Awami League general secretary Obaidul Quader on Monday evening agreed to postpone their agitation for a month.

Sadharan Chhatra Odhikar Sangrakshan Parishad convener agreed postponing the movement getting assurance of scrutinising their demands, said Quader. 

After the meeting, Quader said the government has weakness to the first-time voter young generation and that is why the prime minister assigned him to talk with the demonstrators. He said the government would consider the demands of the protesters positively.

He said the government would scrutiny the demands of the protesters in the one-month time and announce its decision on May 7.

Earlier in the morning, the students demanding reforms of the existing quota system in public service warned that a wave of fire will spread across the country if those arrested during Sunday's protest are not released by the day.

Rashed Khan, joint convener of Sadharan Chhatra Odhikar Sangrakshan Parishad (Bangladesh General Students' Right Protection Council), came up with the warning in front of the Dhaka University Central Library.

He said general people, students and job-seekers across the country will get involved with their movement.

Meanwhile, the students have started to gather at the Raju Memorial Monument on the DU campus.

Earlier, police detained at least 25 students from the overnight protest.

The protests has gained momentum and fueled protests in other parts of the country as students and jobseekers went out on demonstrations at other public universities.

Students of Jahangirnagar University, Rajshahi University, Shahjalal University, Chittagong University, Islamic University and others restarted protests, reports New Age correspondents there.

Rally for Quota
Protesters bring out a huge procession at Dhaka University on Monday. — Sourav Lasker

At Dhaka University, students brought out a huge procession and paraded through arts faculty, central library, TSC, and Doyel Chattar chanting slogans for reducing the 56 per cent quota reservation to around 10 per cent to allow non-quota holders to compete.

They also gathered at Shahbagh but later came back to Raju Memorial Monument.

A huge number of protesters gathered at the TSC intersection chanting slogans demanding the reform in the quota system. They also set fire to bamboos and wood on the street, reports staff correspondent from the sport at 2:00pm.

RU quota
Rajhshahi University students block Dhaka-Rajshahi highway seeking reform of quotas on Monday. — Sujon Ali

In Rajshahi, several thousand students of Rajshahi University and Rajshahi University of Engineering and Technology on Monday blocked the Dhaka-Rajshahi highway once again demanding reduced quota in government jobs.

The students of the universities blocked the highway in front of the universities main entrances in the morning as a part of the central programme in support of their five-point demand including reduction of quota to 10 per cent from the existing 56 per cent in government jobs.

Several thousand RU students got mobilised on the campus and started demonstration. No class was held and none of the university bus left the campus.

Later, the agitating students brought out a procession and took position in front of the university main entrance blocking the highway.

RU proctor Md Lutfor Rahman told New Age that they asked the students to hold a peaceful demonstration. ‘We also requested the law enforcers not to go into any action against the students’, he also added.

Meanwhile, the students of Rajshahi University of Engineering and Technology formed a human chain in front of the university main entrance over the demand 11:30am.

Later, the students also took position at Dhaka-Rajshahi highway at 12pm and later withdrew their blocked programme at 1pm.

No class was held at RUET as the students boycotted classes.

Students of Hajee Mohammad Danesh Science and Technology University go on demonstration on Monday. — New Age photo

In Dinajpur, students of Hajee Mohammad Danesh Science and Technology University block Dinajpur-Thakurgaon and Dinajpur-Rangpur  highways seeking reform of quota system. They continued blockade till 1:00pm.

In Barisal, students of Barisal University continued demonstration blocking Barisal-Patuakhali highway and later withdrew demonstration at the request of police at 2:00pm.

In Syleht, students Shahjalal University of Science and Technology went out on demonstrations inside the campus since 9:00am pledging their solidarity with the movement.

BAU quota
Students of Bangladesh Agricultural University block Dhaka-Mymensingh rail track demanding quota revision on Monday. — New Age photo

In Mymensingh, students of Bangladesh Agricultural University brought out procession and blocked Dhaka-Mymensingh rail track demanding quota revision.

Boycotting class and examinations, the students mobilized at the ‘Bangabandhu Smrity Chattar’ on the campus and after a brief rally, they blocked Dhaka-Mymensingh railway.

Mymensingh deputy commissioner Subhash Chandra Biswas, superintendent of police Syed Nurul Islam, assistant police superintendent Md Al-Amin, along with the proctor of the university tried to convince the agitating students but failed.

On the other hand, the university unit Chhatra League expressed their solidarity with the movement.

JU quota
Jahangirnagar University students block Dhaka-Aricha highway on Monday. — New Age photo

In Savar, more than 60 students including proctor of Jahangirnagar University were injured as police fired rubber bullets and tear gas shells on the blockade on Dhaka-Aricha highway for the reformation of the existing quota system in all government job recruitment tests on Monday.

Among them, a total of 20 students were undergoing treatment at different clinics and hospitals in Savar.

Hundreds of students blocked Dhaka-Aricha highway at 10:30am on Monday seeking quota system reforms.

Around at 12:30pm, police started firing rubber bullets, and used tear gas and water cannon to disperse the agitated students while they took position inside the main entrance and was continuing demonstration.

At one stage, they chased police and took position on Dhaka-Aricha highway and clash between students and cops took place that continued till around 2:00 pm.

Later, JU unit BCL leaders and activists took away the protestors to inside the campus area and traffic movement became normal in the highway. 

About at 3:00pm, the university vice-chancellor Farzana Islam rushed to the spot and expressed solidarity with the protesters.

She assured them to talk with the government for quota system reforms and urged to refrain from any kinds of destructive activities.

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