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3 July, 2018 00:00 00 AM / LAST MODIFIED: 3 July, 2018 03:24:23 AM

Quota system under consideration at govt’s highest level

BCL attacks protesters at DU, RU, foils rally at JU
Staff reporter with du and ru correspondents
Quota system under consideration at govt’s highest level
A group of Bangladesh Chhatra League (BCL) clobbers a quota reform movement supporter on the Central Shaheed Minar premises in the capital as protests continue at various educational institutions across the country demanding quota reform. Independent Photo

The existing quota system is under active consideration at the highest level of the government, Cabinet secretary Mohammad Shafiul Alam has said. “There is no progress on the quota system so far,” he told reporters at a regular press briefing at the Secretariat yesterday. The Cabinet secretary disclosed that an unscheduled discussion on the quota system was held with Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina during the Cabinet meeting.

“The issue of reforming the quota system is a very difficult job. We have to take a decision after weighing many options. No update at the lower level, though it is under consideration at the highest level,” the Cabinet secretary said. When asked as to when the decision would be taken on the issue, the Cabinet secretary replied, “It’s difficult to say, but it’ll take time.”

A high-powered committee, headed by the Cabinet secretary, has been formed on the issue. Replying to another question, the Cabinet secretary disclosed that the committee is yet to start its business but will start working soon on the matter.

Reporters raised the issue of the quota system before the Cabinet secretary during the regular Cabinet briefing after a few students of Dhaka University (DU) recently assaulted some students trying to organise a movement on the quota system.

Sources said while 77.40 per cent of job-seekers were

appointed from the merit list in the 33rd BCS, 67.49 per cent came from the 35th BCS and 70.38 per cent from the 36th BCS.

At present, 56 per cent of government jobs are reserved for candidates from various quotas, while the remaining 44 per cent are drawn from the merit list.

Students and job-seekers launched demonstrations against the quota system in government jobs on February 17.

On April 12, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina announced that the quota system would be scrapped in order to preclude any such movement in future, following the agitation by students across the country.

Meanwhile, Bangladesh Chhatra League (BCL) activists yesterday attacked quota reformist protesters at Central Shahid Minar, reports our DU correspondent.

The Bangladesh Sadharan Chhatra Odhikar Sangrakkhan Parishad leaders were attacked for the second time at Central Shahid Minar of the capital.

A section of leaders and activists of the BCL swooped down on at least four demonstrators, including two girls, in front of the Central Shaheed Minar. The girl protestors were even threatened with rape.

After severely beating them up, the BCL workers handed over two reformists to Shabagh police station. They included Faruk Hasan, joint convener of the Bangladesh General Students Rights Protection Forum.

Luthfor Nahar, joint convener of Bangladesh General Students Rights Protection Forum, alleged to journalists after the attack by the BCL that “BCL boys beat us up though we are girls. They even issued threats to rape us as we tried to save the male protesters from BCL attack.”

A section of teachers and students of the DU’s English department formed a human chain at the foot of Aparajeyo Bangla in the morning protesting the recent brutal attack on Nurul Hoque Nuru, joint convener of the quota reform movement. He is a student of English department of DU. Hoque is still undergoing medical treatment.

Meanwhile, DU proctor Golam Rabbany told journalists, “I don’t know anything and no-one has informed me about anything. We haven’t deployed BCL to safeguard the campus.”

In Rajshahi, BCL activists assaulted 12 quota reformists at Rajshahi University (RU), reports our RU correspondent. One student was critically injured and hospitalised. Students were attacked around 4pm in front of the university main gate while holding demonstrations with the national flag.

Meanwhile, the Jahangirnagar University (JU) unit of the BCL foiled a flag procession demanding quota reform, adds our JU correspondent.

Demonstrating students and quota reformists gathered on the Central Library premises around 11am, at which point over 40 BCL activists urged them to abstain from holding any demonstration on the campus.

At one stage, they forcibly took away Shakiluzzaman Shakil, the convener of the Bangladesh Shadharan Chhatra Odhikar Sangrakkhan Parishad (JU unit), to Bottola.

They also beat up Rajib Hossain, a final-year student of the Mathematics department who had accompanied Shakil, through BCL leaders denied that he was thrashed.

Meanwhile, a Dhaka court granted five days’ remand to quiz Muhammad Rashed Khan, joint convener of the Bangladesh Sadharan Chhatra Adhikar Sangrakkhan Parishad, in connection with an International Crimes Tribunal (ICT) case.

Earlier, Rashed Khan was produced in court yesterday (Monday), when police pleaded for a 10-day remand. Dhaka Metropolitan Magistrate Raihanul Islam, however, granted five days.



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Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman

Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman
Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

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