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Students’ factions in disagreement over quota reform movement

  • Published at 01:52 pm April 10th, 2018
Students’ factions in disagreement over quota reform movement
A faction of protesting students, involved in the movement against existing quota system in government jobs, has announced withdrawal of their demonstrations until May 7. Joint Convener of Sadharan Chhatra Odhikar Sangrokkhon Parishad, Rashed khan made the announcement at a press briefing in the Central Library premises of Dhaka University (DU) campus on Tuesday. A faction of the protesting students made the decision, after Awami League General Secretary Obaidul Quader held a closed-door meeting with a 19-member delegation of demonstrators on Monday afternoon. Following the meeting, Obaidul told the press that during the weekly Cabinet meeting, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina had instructed the authorities concerned to scrutinize the existing quota system and inform her about it. Speaking at the press conference, Rashed khan said that this faction of students will withdraw from the ongoing movement until May 7. However, if the issue is not resolved by then, they will resume their demonstrations.
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This faction of protesters also strongly condemned a controversial statement made by Agriculture Minister Matia Chowdhury against protesters of the quota reform movement on Monday. These students are set to hold a demonstration, demanding that Motia Chowdhury withdraw her statement immediately. However, this demonstration will have no correlation with the quota reform movement. On the other hand, another group of students has refused to stand down and has vowed to continue the ongoing movement for quota reform. Speaking to the correspondent, a number of students on condition of anonymity, said: “We will continue this movement until our demands are met. The holy month of Ramadan and our examinations are just around the corner. “The movement could lose its momentum if we withdraw it now. This move could be the government’s ruse to slow us down.” This faction of protesters also brought out a protest procession from the DU Central Library around 11am.
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Speaking to the correspondent, some of the students claimed that Chhatra League leaders and activists have made attempts to threaten and negotiate with them, asking the protesters to discontinue the movement. Around 12:30pm, a group of students held demonstrations under the Raju Memorial Sculpture in DU campus. They demanded that the university administration take steps to halt attacks on students allegedly carried out by Chhatra League activists and the police, and increase security in the campus. On February 17, students and jobseekers started the movement to press for their five-point demand that include introduction of unified age limit in government jobs, review of quota system in government recruitment process, filling vacant posts from merit list if the candidates from quota are not found and fixing of 10% quota instead of existing 56%. The Dhaka University campus turned into a battle field between Sunday evening and early Monday when police and demonstrators clashed following a demonstration at Shahbagh.