Quota reform movement leader Rashed Khan’s family on Friday appealed to the government for immediate release of detained protesters rallying for reform of quota system in public service recruitment and withdrawal of cases against them.
They made the appeal at a human chain formed by Jatiya Oikkya Prokriya in front of the National Press Club in Dhaka demanding logical reform of the quota system and an end to repression against common students.
Addressing the human cahin, Rashed’s father Nabai Biswas said, ‘I bear my son’s educational expenses working as a mason. My son is working for the betterment of the youth of Bangladesh. I’m appealing the government to release my son and other protesters.’
The poor father said that neither he nor his son ever engaged in any politics but they were labelled as Jamaat when his son joined a logical movement.
‘My son is not against the government, rather he is for the government. The prime minister is a mother and I appeal to a mother to get back my son,’ Rashed’s mother Saleha Begum broke in tears.
‘I cannot pass even a moment without hearing from my only son. Now I am walking door to door for his release. I just want my son free so that he can complete his studies safely,’ she said.
Protesters said that at least 13 quota reform protesters had been arrested in different cases since June 30 when the latest phase of quota movement began.
Gonoshasthaya Kendra founder Zafrullah Chowdhury urged the prime minister not to take deceptive political move over quota reform and to deal it logically.
He also demanded immediate release of the protesters and withdrawal of cases against them.
Earlier on Wednesday, a court in Dhaka sent Rashed Khan to jail after 15 days’ remand in police custody in two phases.
Rashed, joint convener of quota reform movement platform Bangladesh Sadharan Chhatra Odhikar Sangrakkhan Parishad, was arrested in Bhasantek area in Dhaka on July 1.
Later on the same day, he was shown arrested in a case filed by Bangladesh Chhatra League’s law affairs secretary Al-Nahian Khan Joy with Shahbagh police station under the Information and Communication Technology Act.
Rashed was arrested at the time when BCL, ruling Awami League-backed student organisation, continued attacks on quota reform activists at different public university campuses.
The protesters began the movement demanding logical reform of quota system since mid-Februaray. Under the existing quota system, 56 per cent of government jobs are reserved for different groups.
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