DU professor demands resignation of Cabinet Secretary Mohammad Shafiul Alam during protest in Shahbagh
All the organizations comprised of the descendants of freedom fighters have established “Muktijuddho Moncho (Liberation War Platform),” a new platform to protest and press home their demands to reinstate the quota system.
Prof AKM Jamal Uddin, of Dhaka University’s department of sociology, was made the spokesperson of the newly formed Muktijuddho Moncho on Thursday night.
Addressing the press afterwards, Prof Jamal Uddin demanded the resignation of Cabinet Secretary Mohammad Shafiul Alam.
Meanwhile, Home Minister Asaduzzaman Khan Kamal has said as long as the Awami League and Sheikh Hasina are there, families of freedom fighters do not have to take to the streets to press home their demands.
The home minister was speaking after meeting with family members of freedom fighters at the Shahbagh intersection on Thursday night.
At the time, he urged them to be cognizant and considerate about today’s MBBS admission test and Dhaka University (DU) convocation.
Speaking to reporters last night, Prof Jamal Uddin, also the son of a freedom fighter, said they would not block the Shahbagh intersection from 6am to 3pm on Friday. To ease traffic congestion during exam time, they would also assist the traffic police.
About the Dhaka University convocation on Saturday, the professor said the protesters would announce their next course of action regarding the road blockade on social media.
Beneficiaries of the freedom fighter quota are confining their blockade to the Shahbagh intersection in Dhaka, protesting the government’s decision to scrap the existing quota system for first and second class government jobs reserved for descendants of freedom fighters.
Muktijoddha Sangsad Santan Command and Muktijoddhar Paribar – two organizations of the descendants of 1971 freedom fighters – gathered at the Shahbagh intersection on Wednesday night and blocked the whole intersection.
Traffic came to a halt following the initial protest.
They blockaded the intersection hours after the government decided to abolish the quota for top government jobs.
They demanded the reinstatement of the 30% quota privilege for family members of freedom fighters.
The demonstrators also announced they would organize a rally in Shahbagh at 3pm on Saturday.
The two groups stayed on the street in Shahbagh the whole night.
They allowed a little traffic through until 7am on Thursday, but later they prohibited all vehicular movement.
Since morning, many protesters have gathered there.
Earlier, on Wednesday, the Cabinet at its weekly meeting approved a proposal to abolish the existing quota system for first and second class government jobs.
Cabinet Secretary Md Shafiul Alam told reporters: "Now, recruitment for first and second class jobs (from Grade 9 to Grade 13) will be made directly on a merit basis and the quota system will exist only in the Grade 3 and Grade 4 jobs.”