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Differently abled people blockade Shahbagh demanding 5% quota

  • Published at 12:55 am October 12th, 2018
Differently abled people blockaded the Shahbagh
Differently abled people blockaded the Shahbagh intersection, demanding reinstatement of quota privileges in government job recruitment on Thursday, October 11, 2018 Rajib Dhar/Dhaka Tribune

In addition to the reinstatement of quota privileges, the protesters demanded that a gazette in line with the Persons with Disabilities Rights and Protection Act 2013 be published

Differently abled people on Thursday blockaded the Shahbagh intersection, demanding reinstatement of quota privileges for them in Class I and II government job recruitment. 

Furthermore, the protesters demanded that the quota in Class I and II government jobs be raised to 5% for them. Prior to the abolition of the quota privileges, differently abled people enjoyed a 1% quota in Class I and II government jobs, while there is a 10% quota for differently abled people in Class III and IV government jobs. 

Bangladesh Pratibandhi Shikkharthi Oikkya Parishad, a platform of differently abled people, blockaded Shahbagh intersection from 10:00am on Thursday, and the blockade was still continuing at the time of filing this report at 8:30pm. The demonstration led to traffic congestion in surrounding areas. 

In addition to the reinstatement of quota privileges, the protesters demanded that a gazette in line with the Persons with Disabilities Rights and Protection Act 2013 be published. 

The seven-point demands of the protesters include 5% quota privileges for differently abled people in Class I and II government jobs, the enactment of such a quota during preliminary exams, inclusion of young differently abled representatives in policy making positions of government, the formation of a Differently Abled Affairs Ministry, and a 10 minute time extension in government recruitment tests. 

Ali Hossain, convener of Bangladesh Pratibandhi Shikkharthi Oikkya Parishad, said they would continue protests until their demands were met, and the gazette notification abolishing quota privileges was withdrawn. 

Bangladesh Chhatra League central unit General Secretary, Golam Rabbani, expressed solidarity with the protesters. 

Terming the quota privilege for differently abled people as part of their constitutional rights, the Chhatra League general secretary assured the platform that he would speak to Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina about their demands. 

Meanwhile, a faction of freedom fighters’ children also took position alongside the differently abled protesters, demanding reinstatement of the 30% quota for freedom fighters’ children and grandchildren in government job recruitment. 

A separate faction of freedom fighters’ children backed by shipping minister Shahjahan Khan had previously announced that the blockade would be postponed.