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Education - 2 weeks ago

Anti-quota protesters block major Dhaka roads for second day

Staff Correspondent: Students and job aspirants have been enforcing the “Bangla blockade” programme for the second consecutive day on Monday to press home their four-point demand, including reinstatement of the government circular issued in 2018 cancelling the quota system in government jobs.
As part of the movement, the demonstrators under the banner of “anti-discrimination student movement” laid siege to Shahbagh, Bangla Motor, Farmgate, Science Lab and Zero Point at Gulistan, some of the vital traffic intersections in the city, around 4:30 pm.
The protestors have said that they have been blocking the road at Rampura and Badda areas too.
Some other protesters were seen blocking the InterContinental hotel and Bangla Motor intersections at that time. A large section of the capital city has come to a standstill due to this movement.
Earlier, the demonstrators started the procession from the central library premises of Dhaka University at 3:55 pm.
Though the leaders and activists of Bangladesh Chhatra League, student wing of governing Bangladesh Awami League, gathered at Madhur Canteen on the campus with small processions, they did not create obstacles to the anti-quota demonstrators.
The protestors started gathering in front of the DU central library around 3:00 pm. Leaders and activists of GanatantrikChhatraJote, a platform of seven left-leaning student organisations of Dhaka University, reached the area with a procession from TSC (Teachers Student Center) around 3:15 pm.
After the movement in 2018, for the first time, the left-leaning student organisations joined the movement against quota system in government jobs.
The protestors were chanting different slogans against the quota system blocking the Shahbagh intersection that has created traffic jams.
The police members have taken position at one side of the road but they have not obstructed the protestors so far.
Students from various universities and colleges have been taking part in the protest boycotting classes and exams.
Earlier, the protestors from several universities, including Dhaka University, and several colleges enforced the “Bangla blockade” for the first day on Sunday and blocked several vital intersections in the capital city that created huge traffic jams.
Meanwhile the teachers of public universities have also been waging a movement of their own against the “prottoy” pension scheme.
Due to these two simultaneous movements, academic activities at the public universities have come to a halt.
The students of Dhaka College brought out a protest procession from in front of the college’s main entrance at 3:20 pm. The procession went to Eden Mohila College. There the Eden Mohila College students joined the procession as well.
The procession returned towards Dhaka College around 3:45 pm and blocked the Science Lab intersection, another vital intersection on Mirpur Road in the city.
Apart from the reinstatement of the circular, the job aspirants and students united under the banner of ‘anti-discriminatory student movement’ are also pressing some other demands.
Those include the formation of commission to omit irrational and discriminatory quotas in all grades of government jobs subjected to the reinstatement of the 2018 circular, considering the backward community as per the constitution, closing down the scope to use the quota facility more than once, filling up the empty posts reserved for quota on the basis of merit and taking effective measures to ensure a corruption-free, neutral and merit-based bureaucracy.

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