Bangladesh: Students block highway protesting against cancellation of quota system

13th Jul 2013

[This July 11 file photo shows students of Rajshahi University demonstrate blocking Dhaka-Rajshahi highway in front of their campus in Rajshahi city demanding cancellation of quota system in BCS preliminary test.]

Star On Line: Students of Rajshahi University (RU) were demonstrating against the quota provision in public service recruitment blocked the Dhaka-Rajshahi highway for 45 minutes on Saturday.

As part of their scheduled programme, over 1,000 students started the protest in front of the university’s main gate around 11:00am, halting traffic movement on the highway, reported our RU correspondent.

The agitators left the highway around 11:45am after giving an announcement that they will resume the demonstration again at 10:00am Sunday and continue it until the government cancels the quota system at the BCS exams.

Meanwhile, agitating students of Jahangirnagar University brought out a procession inside the campus around 11:00am demanding the same.

But the students backtracked after the leaders and activists of Bangladesh Chhatra League locked into an altercation with them.

Contacted, JU Proctor Muzibur Rahman told The Daily Star that students did not seek any permission from the authorities for holding a rally or procession inside the campus.

He however expressed his ignorance about the BCL men’s action against the demonstration.

The agitation began on Wednesday when several hundred protesters blocked the busy Shahbagh intersection in the capital for more than 11 hours demanding that the results of the 34th Bangladesh Civil Service (BCS) preliminary examinations be cancelled.

Spearheaded by unsuccessful BCS examinees and Dhaka University students, the protest forced the Public Service Commission (PSC) to reconsider the results of the BCS preliminary exam.

But on the following day, several hundred youths clashed with police for hours on the DU campus and adjoining areas, which left at least 30 people injured.

The movement later spread to six other public universities including Rajshahi University.

Dhaka University filed a case with Shahbagh Police Station Wednesday night in connection with violence while police filed another case against 1,200 more on Friday in connection with the clashes with the law enforcers and vandalism.

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