Hundreds of students from Rajshahi University (RU) and Rajshahi University of Engineering and Technology (RUET) have blocked off the Dhaka-Rajshahi highway, pressing home their demand of reforming the existing quota system for government jobs.
The students, who boycotted classes to hold the demonstrations, have also demanded that the controversial statements of two ministers made on the issue be withdrawn.
Under the banner of the RU unit of Bangladesh Chhatra Odhikar Songrokkhon Parishad, the students took up positions on the highway around 10am on Wednesday.
The demonstration still continues as of the filing of this report.
[caption id="attachment_258415" align="aligncenter" width="800"]
RU students held procession protesting the current quota system| Sirajus Salekin/ Dhaka Tribune
According to sources from the RU campus, the protesting students started gathering in front of the central library around 9am. They brought out a protest procession at 10am, which circled around the university campus.
The procession ended in front of the senate building. From there, more than 200 students headed for the Dhaka-Rajshahi highway.
Earlier on Tuesday, RU unit coordinator of the quota reform movement, Masud Munnaf, announced an indefinite boycott of classes and examinations. Responding to his call, a faction of students boycotted classes on Wednesday, and joined the demonstration.
The protesters have announced they will continue the movement until their demands are met.
Also Read- Demonstrators unite, announce new program and demands for quota reform
Meanwhile, RUET students have also taken up positions at the main entrance of the university and are holding demonstrations there.
Agriculture Minister Matia Chowdhury and Finance Minister AMA Muhith have faced a barrage of criticism for their comments on the quota reform issue.
Matia Chowdhury on Monday termed the protesting students “children of Razakars,” while Muhith on Tuesday stated: “Initiative to reform existing quota system cannot be taken before the next budget.”