• Wednesday, Nov 14, 2018
  • Last Update : 01:11 pm

Quota reform demonstrations spread countrywide

Quota reform demonstrations spread countrywide
Students of various universities across the country have been demonstrating on their respective campuses as part of a protest program demanding reformation of the existing quota system in government recruitment tests. They boycotted classes, took out processions and blocked highways since Monday morning to express solidarity with the demonstrators of the central program. Our Jahangirnagar University correspondent reports: Students of Jahangirnagar University (JU) blocked the Dhaka-Aricha highway since 10:30am, causing huge tailback on one of the main gateways to Dhaka. Earlier at 9:30am, they brought out a procession from the central library of the campus. The procession paraded different parts of the campus and ended at the main gate. [caption id="attachment_257963" align="aligncenter" width="800"] Police and protesters of Jahngirnagar University are at standfoff on the Dhaka-Aricha highway on Monday, April 9, 2018 Shoyaibur Rahman/Dhaka Tribune[/caption] Hundreds of policemen have taken position on the campus with water cannon. Police and university authorities asked them to withdraw the blockade but the demonstrators said they would not leave the highway until their demands are fulfilled. Our Rajshahi correspondent reports: students of Rajshahi University (RU) boycotted classes and blocked the Dhaka-Rajshahi highway since Monday morning to press for their five-point demands including reforming the quota system. They took position in the highway since 10am, causing huge traffic congestion. Students also barricaded entrances to academic buildings on the campus. [caption id="attachment_257967" align="aligncenter" width="800"] Students of Rajshahi University take position in front of the main entrance of the campus on Monday, April 9, 2018 Abdullah Al Dulal/Dhaka Tribune[/caption] Earlier on Sunday, the agitators blocked the highway twice. Masud Munnaf, coordinator of the demonstration, said: “We have boycotted classes as part of the demonstrations. We will keep blocking the highway until our demands are met.” Our Chittagong correspondent reports: several thousand students and job seekers demonstrated in Sholoshahar Rail gate area on Monday morning. Students of Chittagong University (CU) boycott classes and joined the protest program. Mohammad Raju, coordinator of Bangladesh Sadharan Chhatra Odhikar Sangrokkhon Parishad of CU unit, said general students responded to their call for class boycott. The agitators mobilized in front of the central library of the university. Our Khulna correspondent reports: Students of Khulna University of Engineering and Technology (KUET) boycotted classes since Monday morning demanding quota reforms. [embed]https://www.facebook.com/DhakaTribune/videos/1877126619029314/[/embed] They, however, did not take to the streets to press for their demands. Kuet public relations officer Monoj Kumar Majumder said students did not observe any protest program yet. Earlier on Sunday night, several hundreds of students and job seekers put barricade in zero point area in the city protesting the attack on the demonstrators in Dhaka. However, police dispersed the demonstrators 15 minutes later. Khulna Metropolitan Police media wing chief Sonali Sen said no untoward incident has taken place in any part of the city. Police are on alert to tackle any situation. Our SUST correspondent reports: students of Shahjalal University of Science and Technology (SUST) in Sylhet took position in front of the main entrance to the campus since 7am on Monday morning. Quota reform convener committee of SUST unit called for a daylong strike on the campus in protest at the attack on demonstrators in Dhaka. Witnesses said activists of Bangladesh Chhatra League (BCL), student wing of ruling Awami League, urged the demonstrators to withdraw from the entrance. Then the students withdrew the blockade and took position next to the entrance. [caption id="attachment_257965" align="aligncenter" width="800"] Protesters of Shahjalal University of Science and Technology (SUST) in Sylhet take position in front of the main entrance of the campus on Monday, April 9, 2018 Md Zahid Hassan/Dhaka Tribune[/caption] However, classes and exams were held in a few departments, said sources at the campus. Meanwhile, agitators alleged that BCL SUST unit general secretary Imran Khan took away the mobile phone of the coordinator of the protest program, Md Nasir Uddin, in a bid to foil their demonstration. Later the phone was returned one and a half hours later. The BCL leader, however, denied the allegation. He said: “Everybody has the right to demonstration. We urged them not to boycott classes for demonstration.” SUST Proctor Zahir Uddin Ahmed said the authorities would not give permission to form agitation and human chain on the campus. Our Barisal correspondent reports: Students of Barisal University have been demonstrating demanding quota reform since Sunday evening. They blocked the Patuakhali-Barisal highway since 9am Monday. The agitators said they would continue their demonstration until their demands are met. Moazzem Hossain, deputy commissioner of Barisal Metropolitan Police, said additional police forces were already deployed to avoid any untoward incident. [caption id="attachment_257966" align="aligncenter" width="800"] Protesters block the Patuakhali-Barisal highway demanding reforms of quota system on Monday, April 9, 2018 Anisur Rahman Swapan/Dhaka Tribune[/caption] Mostofa Kamal, officer-in-charge of Barisal Metropolitan Bandar police station, said they were trying to contact the demonstrators urging them to lift the blockade. Students also blocked the highway on Sunday for an hour from 7pm to 8pm. Later they lifted the blockade at the request of law enforcers.