TN web Logo Size-03 TN web Logo Size-03
TN web Logo Size-03 TN web Logo for Dark Mode-01-01_Artboard 4
Bangladesh Published At: 09 Jul 2024, 20:39 p.m.

Protesting Students Announce Nationwide Bangla Blockade on Wednesday

The leaders of the anti-quota movement announce “Bangla Blockade” across Bangladesh at a press conference on Tuesday, July 9, 2024.

The blockade will be observed from 10am

Protesting students have announced a nationwide Bangla Blockade across Bangladesh on Wednesday. The blockade will be observed from 10 am, as declared by the leaders of the anti-quota movement during a press conference around 6 pm on Tuesday.

The coordinators of the quota reform movement informed reporters that they have widespread support from students across the country. Besides the court order, they are demanding a written assurance from the executive branch of the government regarding quota reform. Due to this, they have decided to observe the blockade on Wednesday morning and evening.

During the press conference, one of the movement's coordinators, Nahid Islam, said: "The common people are suffering because of the movement we have started. We also do not want this suffering. The government must take responsibility for this suffering. On this issue of quota, we feel that the government and the executive have jurisdiction to intervene."

Announcing the program, he said: "There will be a morning-to-evening blockade program from Wednesday. The blockade will start at 10 am and include both road and rail blockades. Journalists and emergency services transport will be exempted from this blockade."

Another coordinator, Hasnat Abdullah, said: "Our movement is not aimed at abolishing the quota. We aim to reform the quota system to ensure fairness in light of current realities. We have been asked various times whether we are against the freedom fighter quota. We are not opposing the quota for freedom fighters or their privileges. However, we are against the quota for the grandchildren of freedom fighters."

Explaining the need for a minimum quota, he said: "We have reviewed and found that the quota should be applied only to the children of disabled individuals, minorities, and freedom fighters. We consider a 5% quota to be reasonable. Our main demand is directed at the executive department."

Regarding the writ filed by two students in the morning, another student, Sharjis Alam, said: "It is not a part of our movement. They are ordinary university students filing this writ from their personal interest. We support their writ, but it is not related to our movement.”

Commenting on the judgment of the writ, he said: "Regardless of the judgment, our demand is with the executive department. The movement will continue irrespective of a negative decision. If the decision is positive, and we receive assurance through a circular or written document that a commission will be formed for the rational reform of quotas, then we will end the movement and return to our classes happily."

On July 4, The Appellate Division of the Supreme Court upheld the High Court’s verdict that declared the decision to cancel the quota system, including the first and second-class freedom fighter quota in government jobs, illegal. On June 5, the High Court declared illegal the circular that canceled the quotas, including those for freedom fighters, in first and second-class government jobs. As a result, the 30% quota for freedom fighters in government jobs (grades 9 to 13) will remain in place.

Following the High Court ruling, various discussions and criticisms emerged on social media. Additionally, protests and demonstrations took place in several locations, including Dhaka University. Meanwhile, students of Dhaka University demanded the withdrawal of the High Court's verdict to reinstate the 30% quota for the children of freedom fighters in government jobs from grades 9 to 13. On October 4, 2018, the Ministry of Public Administration issued a circular to implement the cabinet's decision to abolish the existing quota system for direct recruitment to first and second-class posts in government jobs.