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Bangladesh Published At: 10 Jul 2024, 17:41 p.m.

Quota reinstatement: Students continue protests rejecting Supreme Court’s order

Students blockade the Shahbagh intersection in Dhaka to demand quota reform, with some holding placards, on Wednesday, July 10, 2024.

Appellate Division urges protesting students to return to classes

Despite the Appellate Division issuing a one-month stay on the High Court ruling that invalidated the cancellation of the freedom fighter quota system in first- and second-class government jobs, protesting students have rejected this order and vowed to continue their protests.

Abdul Hannan Masud, a coordinator of the anti-quota student movement, conveyed this information in a written statement on Wednesday afternoon. He stated, “We do not accept any pending decision. Our one-point demand is to pass a law in Parliament abolishing all discriminatory quotas while retaining a maximum 5% quota for backward communities in all grades of government jobs.”

In contrast, the Appellate Division has urged the students to return to classes and submit their statement in written form to the court. However, the protesters have declared their intention to remain on the streets until their demand is met.

Nazmul Hasan, coordinator of the Dhaka College branch of the student movement, reiterated this stance on behalf of students blocking the Science Lab junction. “We reject the judgment given by the Appellate Division. Our sole demand is the abolition of unreasonable quotas in all grades of government jobs. Respecting the constitution, we insist that Parliament pass laws ensuring a logical quota for the backward groups mentioned in the constitution. We will not leave the streets until our one-point demand is fulfilled,” he said.

He further added, “We call upon the prime minister to immediately accept the students' one-point demand. We want to return to our studies. Allow us to return to our reading tables. For the last three days, we have paralyzed the entire country with the Bangla Blockade program. Please accept our demand. If our demands are not met, we will escalate to stricter measures like hartals.”

Meanwhile, on Wednesday, the Appellate Division of the Supreme Court issued that the status quo will remain on the High Court's verdict regarding the quota system in government jobs. The five-member Appellate Division, headed by Chief Justice Obaidul Hasan, passed the order around 11:45 am on Wednesday.