Freedom fighters across the country yesterday gave mixed reactions to Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s announcement that there will be no quota scheme in government jobs anymore.
Her statement followed a vehement movement waged by students and job seekers demanding reforms to the existing quota scheme.
In Noakhali, freedom fighters and their children brought out a procession from in front of the office of District Freedom Fighters’ Council, protesting the announcement and demanding the quota scheme be maintained.
They also formed a human chain in the district town, where they alleged that anti-liberation elements waged the movement in the guise of students to destabilize the country.
They threatened to wage a counter-movement if the 30% quota designated for children and grandchildren of freedom fighters in government jobs, is scrapped.
In Bagura, local Awami League leaders and freedom fighters formed a human chain, demanding that the quota for children of freedom fighters be preserved.
Students’ movement demanding reforms to the quota scheme is a conspiracy hatched by anti-liberation forces, participants of the human chain program alleged.
They also threatened to give a “befitting response to the conspirators.”
In Moulvibazar, expressing his anger at the government’s announcement to abolish quota, Md Jamal Uddin, former commander of District Freedom Fighters’ Council, said: “Freedom fighters have felt insulted due to this announcement.
“You give me something as reward, but later you will take it back from me — this is not acceptable,” he added.
Asked about their reactions to the prime minister’s announcement, Al Mamun, general secretary to the Dhaka University chapter of Freedom Fighters' Children's Command Council, said: “We will hold discussions with the government higher-ups concerned today. Then we will decide on our course of action in this regard.”
Meanwhile, in Jhenaidah, Makbul Hossain, former commander of District Freedom Fighters’ Council, hailed Hasina’s declaration.
“Making such an announcement at this moment is a very good decision. We, the freedom fighters, welcome the move,” he said.
Makbul further said: “We fought in the  Liberation War for independence of the country, nor for rewards.
“We brought independence of our country… We are for the country and for its people, not for ourselves.”
On Tuesday, freedom fighters in the district, however, brought out a procession, voicing their objections to the students’ movement seeking reforms of the quota system.
Our Noakhali correspondent Ranajit Chandra Kuri, Bagura correspondent Nazmul Huda Nasim, Moulvibazar correspondent Saiful Islam, and Dhaka University correspondent Fahim Reza Shovon contributed to this report.