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Quota reform: Some RU students return to classes, others continue protests

  • Published at 05:25 pm April 10th, 2018
Quota reform: Some RU students return to classes, others continue protests
After postponing their activities on Monday, Rajshahi University (RU) students have returned to the streets again to continue their protests demanding quota reforms on Tuesday. However, students have separated into two groups following a discussion between Bangladesh Shadharan Chhatra Odhikar Sangrakkhan Parishad and government representatives. One group, under the leadership of left-wing leaders, have continued the protests, while the other group led by Bangladesh Shadharan Chhatra Odhikar Sangrakkhan Parishad have postponed all activities. Speaking to students, Convener of Rajshahi unit of Bangladesh Shadharan Chhatra Odhikar Sangrakkhan Parishad Masud Munnaf said: "In accordance with the decision made by the central committee, we will postpone our protest activities until May 7. "Different scheming parties are trying to use our protests to serve their own interests," continued the convener. "We urge the students to not join them." On the other hand, in a press briefing held by left-wing leaders, member of the Rajshahi unit of Student Federation Umme Kulsum called on students to boycott classes and continue demonstrations till demands for quota reforms are met. [caption id="attachment_258241" align="aligncenter" width="960"] Protests at Rajshahi University Dhaka Tribune[/caption] "Countrywide protests regarding quota reforms are going on," said Kulsum. "As part of it, we ask students to boycott classes and engage in sit-in activities and rallies on Wednesday." Other left-wing leaders were present during the briefing. According to campus sources, at around 11.30am on Tuesday, students brought out a procession from in front of the RU Central Library. When the procession reached Paris road in front of the university, left-wing leaders tried to provoke the students to block the main road by taking the procession under their control. At that time, activists from RU Bangladesh Shadharan Chhatra Odhikar Sangrakkhan Parishad intercepted the students and called on them to continue their protests inside the campus. At one stage, General Secretary of RU Chhatra League Faisal Ahmed Runu tried to stop the students from protesting. Later, both of the parties left the scene along with a portion of the student body. However, left-wing leaders have continued their demonstration with another portion of the student body. RU students have been protesting on a five-point demand on quota reform from February 19, which includes keeping 10% quota for freedom fighters and others, and the rest 90% on merit basis, for government jobs.