Protesters say they will continue their demonstration until the 30% freedom fighter quota is restored
Descendants of freedom fighters have blocked the road with burning tyres, continuing their demonstration for the second day, demanding the restoration of a 30% quota for government jobs.
Muktijoddhar Santan Command and Muktijoddhar Santan Sangha members positioned themselves in front of the Rajshahi University on Thursday morning—obstructing vehicular movement.
The Cabinet, on Wednesday, approved a proposal to abolish the existing quota system in the recruiting process for first and second-class government jobs. However, the system will remain in place for third and fourth grade jobs.
Currently, 56% of government jobs are reserved for selected groups. Descendants of freedom fighters have benefited from a 30% quota, while 10% of jobs are allocated on the basis of a district quota, 10% are reserved for women, 5% for ethnic communities, and 1% for people with disabilities.
Wednesday’s approval came after months of protests. However, the Cabinet’s decision triggered protests in Dhaka, and elsewhere, demanding the move be cancelled.
The decision came as a victory for students and job seekers, who dubbed the system discriminatory and have been out on the streets for months—pressing the government to overhaul the system.
In Rajshahi, the protesters first blocked the Dhaka-Rajshahi Highway around 11pm on Wednesday. They suspended their demonstration after 12:30am at the request of the Rajshahi University proctor.
They resumed their protest on Thursday morning as part of Muktijoddhar Santan Command and Muktijoddhar Santan Sangha’s countrywide demonstration.
“We will continue our protest until our demands are met,” said Tarek Hasan, the president of Muktijoddha Sangsad Command’s Rajshahi University unit.