The government is looking positively at the reasonable arguments of the students and job seekers who are demanding a complete overhaul of the quota system in public services, Awami League General Secretary Obaidul Quader has said.
After a closed-door meeting with a 19-member delegation of demonstrators on Monday, Obaidul announced to the press that Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina during the weekly Cabinet meeting had instructed the authorities concerned to scrutinize the existing quota system and inform her about it.
“We have come to the agreement that a solution to the protesters’ concerns will be produced by May 7,” said Obaidul, also the road transport and bridges minister.
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The meeting between the demonstrators and Awami League leaders had started around 4:35pm and ended a little after 6:15pm at Road Transport and Bridges Ministry conference room in the Secretariat in Dhaka.
Obaidul Quader also told reporters: “We are not in a rigid position about this issue. Sheikh Hasina’s government does not ignore logical demands.”
“However, those who attacked the DU vice-chancellor’s residence will be identified and brought to book,” he added.
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Some of the student leaders during the meeting with an Awami League delegation at the Secretariat on April 9, 2018 Courtesy
The minister said: “The demonstrators said those who vandalized the vice-chancellor’s house were outsiders. They have also called for identifying these attackers and bringing them to justice.”
He also criticized demonstrators’ blockades on the highways around the country as they were leading to sufferings of the general people.
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Obaidul had led an 11-member delegation of the ruling party in the meeting, which was also attended by Dhaka Metropolitan Police Commissioner Md Asaduzzaman Mia.
The 19-strong delegation of the demonstrators, who had started the movement in mid February, included students from DU, Dhaka College, Comilla University and other educational institutions.
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Some of the Awami League leaders during a meeting with quota reform demonstrators at the Secretariat on April 9, 2018 Courtesy
Apart from Hasan Al Mamun, convener of the movement, others included Kaniz Fatema, Afasana Safa, Ekramul Haque, Al Imran Hossain and Lina Mitra.
The Awami League delegation included Joint General Secretaries Jahangir Kabir Nanok and Mahbubul Alam Hanif, Organizing Secretaries AFM Bahauddin Nasim, AKM Enamul Haque Shamim and Khalid Mahmud Chowdhury, among others.