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Raising age limit for government jobs: Police disperse demonstrators in Shahbagh, detain 7

  • Published at 07:30 pm November 3rd, 2018
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Police lock the main gate of the Central Public Library in Shahbagh, Dhaka to stop protesters, looking to press home their demand of raising the age limit in government job recruitment, from occupying the Shahbagh intersection and stage their demonstration on Saturday, November 3, 2018 Courtesy

Earlier on October 28, police dispersed demonstrators staging their protest at the Shahbagh intersection, demanding the raise of the age limit

Police foiled a rally of government job seekers, scheduled to take place in Shahbagh, Dhaka on Saturday, to press home their demand to raise the age limit of public service recruitment to 35 years from the existing 30 years.

They said they detained seven of the demonstrators when they tried to continue their protest; however, the demonstrators said at least 17 of them had been detained. 

Around 150 job seekers from different colleges and universities under the banner of Bangladesh Sadharan Chhatra Parishad (Bangladesh General Students’ Council) gathered inside the Central Public Library around 12pm on Saturday.

They tried to take position at the Shahbagh intersection, but police disrupted their move by locking the main gate of the Public Library. 

“When we tried to bring out a procession, policemen obstructed us by locking the gate,” said Sanjoy Das, convener of the platform.

“We sought permission to hold the rally at TSC in Dhaka University instead of Shahbagh, but police did not allow that either,” he added.

Sanjoy claimed that police detained at least 17 members of the platform from the spot.

When contacted in this regard, Azimul Haque, additional deputy commissioner of Dhaka Metropolitan Police (DMP), said: “Law enforcement members always allow students to hold peaceful rallies, but on Saturday we stopped them on security grounds, as Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina is scheduled to attend a program at Suhrawardy Udyan the next day.

“When they [the protesters] still tried to create chaos, we detained seven of them for interrogation,” he added.

Earlier on October 28, police dispersed demonstrators staging their protest at the Shahbagh intersection, demanding the raise of the age limit. Four were detained then. 

Around 500 protesters, under the same platform, had been occupying Shahbagh – one of the busiest thoroughfares of the city – since around 12:30pm on October 27, to press home their demand. 

While the important intersection was blocked, there was severe traffic congestion in alternate routes, with many people having to abandon their transportation to walk to their destinations.