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Bangladesh Published At: 08 Jul 2024, 20:16 p.m.

Bangla Blockade: Students in shrouds and chains demand quota reform


Many participants joined the blockade

Students across the country are participating in Bangla Blockade program, demanding the reform of the quota system and the reinstatement of the merit-based recruitment circular of 2018.

To press home their demand, the protesters gathered in major intersections across Dhaka, including Shahbagh intersection.

To add a new dimension to their protest, many participants joined the blockade with the national flag and chains while some donned themselves in shrouds.

On Monday, at Shahbagh, Dhaka University student Tariqul Islam from Fazlul Haq Muslim Hall was seen participating in the protest with chains around his neck and wrists, highlighting the "quota disparity" in various government jobs on his back.

His back displayed the message: "96% quota in primary, 82% in railways, 70% in third and fourth grades, 60% in first and second grades and non-cadre, and 56% in BCS!!!"

Tariqul said: "In our country, meritorious students are trapped by the quota system. More than half the positions in every job are reserved under quotas, and in some jobs, it’s almost 100%. Due to this quota system, many talented young people fall into despair after completing their studies and resort to suicide. We must break these chains of quotas and ensure employment for the meritorious."

Shahriar Reza, a student from Kabi Jasimuddin Hall at Dhaka University, participated in the protest draped in the national flag.

Reza said: "We fought against discrimination to earn this red-green flag. Creating discrimination again through the quota system in this independent country is an insult to the national flag. We will never accept this discrimination. We will return home only after our rightful demands are met."

The Bangla Blockade program continued with songs, poems, and slogans to the beat of drums.

During this time, a group of students were seen painting protest graffiti.

One graffiti on the street read: "As if the quota wasn’t enough, now there’s also question leaks!" The protestors painted this graffiti as part of their movement.

The quota reform movement reignited on July 2. From Sunday, students have been blocking important points across the country as part of the Bangla Blockade program.