Students rallying for reform of quota system in public service recruitment on Tuesday said that they always demanded logical reform not abolition of quota as it was still needed in the socio-economic context of Bangladesh.
At a press conference,
Bangladesh General Students’ Rights Protection Council joint convener Bin Yeamin Mollah demanded publication of a gazette notification by August 31 reforming the quota system in line with their five-point demands.
The five-point demands include reduction of quota to 10 per cent from the existing 56 per cent, filling the vacant positions from the merit list in absence of eligible candidate from quota, abolition of special examination for quota, uniformity in age-limit for government recruitment and ban of the use of quota facility for more than once.
In response to the cabinet secretary’s remarks on quota, Bin Yeamin said that they were evaluating the secretary-level committee’s primary recommendations.
Cabinet secretary Mohammad Shafiul Alam said on Monday that ‘almost all quotas’ in public service recruitment might be abolished, but the government would seek Supreme Court’s opinion on the 30 per cent quota for freedom fighters’ children and grandchildren.
At a briefing over the weekly cabinet meeting, he said that the secretary-level committee formed for a review of the quota system primarily recommended ‘abolishment of almost all quotas.’
In the written statement, Bin Yeamin told the press conference that the government held meetings with the protesters on four occasions but was yet to take any visible steps to reform the system rather government’s oppression and intimidation continued.
He urged the government to sit with the protesters to resolve the crisis and threatened to launch a tougher movement paralysing the country from September if their detained fellows were not released before the Eid-ul-Azha and the gazette notification reforming the quota system was not published by August 31.
Amid countrywide protests, prime minister Sheikh Hasina on April 11 told parliament that there would be no quota in government jobs.
Later on July 12, she warned in parliament that actions would be taken against any anarchy in the protests for reform of quota and said that the freedom fighters’ quota could not be changed because of a High Court verdict.
Police so far arrested at least seven protesters, including Rashed Khan, Tarikul Islam, Faruk Hassan, Mashiur Rahman, Jasim Uddin and Suhel Islam, since June 30.
Police and Chhatra League activists attacked quota reform protesters and university teachers supporting them on several occasions.
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