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Quota reformers thank PM for releasing leaders before Eid

  • Published at 09:30 pm August 26th, 2018
file-photo-of-quota-reform-movement-leaders-unb-1531226356338.jpg
File photo of quota reform movement leaders at a press briefing held in front of the Dhaka University Central Library UNB

Another Dhaka court, however, rejected the bail petition of Eden College student Lutfunnahar Luma, a leader of the movement

Quota reform activists have thanked Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina for releasing few of their leaders before Eid as per their demands.

Bangladesh General Students’ Rights Protection Council Convener Hasan Al Mamun said this while speaking to the Dhaka Tribune on Sunday.

Hasan Al Mamun said: "I would like to thank our honourable Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina for giving the opportunity to some of the detained protesters, to celebrate Eid-ul-Azha with their families.

"Many protesters are still detained who could not perform Eid with their families. We want unconditional release of all the protesters across the country."

Hasan said: "Our three point demands must be met before the deadline (by August 31). Otherwise we have to go for the hard-line."

The quota reformers’ demands include the immediate release of quota reform activists; punishment of those who attacked teachers and students at different educational institutions; and the reform of the civil service quota system—in line with their earlier five-point demand.

Ten students involved in the quota reform movement were released on bail on Monday and Tuesday. They were released from the Dhaka Central Jail in Keraniganj.

Among the released are - Sakhawat Hossain Ratul, Moshiur Rahman, Atiqur Rahman, Saidur Rahman, Jasim Uddin, Masud Sardar, Tariqul Islam, Rashed Khan, Faruk Hasan and APM Sohel.

Earlier, a group of students and job seekers had protested for several months calling for reforms to the quota system for public sector jobs. The movement was launched by students and job seekers across the country in mid-January.

Several clashes broke out between the protesters and law enforcers at the Dhaka University campus and attack on the vice-chancellor’s house during the protests for quota reforms in government jobs in April.

Quota reform movement Joint Convenor Rashed was arrested under ICT Act case on July 2. Faruk was arrested on the following day while Sohel from Jagannath University on July 12.

Another Dhaka court, however, rejected the bail petition of Eden College student Lutfunnahar Luma, a leader of the movement.

She was arrested in Sirajganj on August 15 for allegedly spreading rumours on Facebook amidst the recent student protests for safe roads.

The quota reform activists earlier seek Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina's consideration to release the detained protesters of quota and road safety movement.

Earlier,  in the midst of the protest, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on April 11 declared in parliament that the quota system would be abolished completely.

Sources involved with the movement said the students continued their protest peacefully over the months of February and March. 

Later, the movement became violent in the beginning of April, following attacks on the protesters which were reportedly carried out by Bangladesh Chhatra League and police. 

On June 30, Chhatra League activists reportedly attacked the quota demonstrators and foiled their scheduled press conference. 

The incident triggered protests at different universities across the country. 

However, Chhatra League’s recently dissolved central committee General Secretary, SM Jakir Hossain, denied allegations against the organization. 

In July, the government formed a seven-member committee, with Cabinet Secretary Mohammad Shafiul Alam as its convener, to review the existing quota system in public service recruitment.

On August 13, the committee suggested to abolish almost all the quotas in public services, giving priority to talent, however, court directives would be sought before taking any decision about the freedom fighters quota.