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Bangladesh: Protests continue at universities

Protests

Students of Dhaka, Rajshahi, Chittagong and Jahangirnagar universities continued their demonstration for the third consecutive day over the quota system in Bangladesh Civil Service (BCS) examinations.

The students blocked Dhaka-Rajshahi highway, brought out processions and held rallies on their campuses to protest against the quota provision.

DHAKA UNIVERSITY

Leaders and activists of Bangladesh Chhatra Union brought out a procession on the campus for reforming the existing quota system in the public service examinations.

Some agitators locked the main entrances of Curzon Hall, Arts Building, Lecture Theatre Building and Education and Research (IER) Building early morning as a student strike was called for Sunday protesting the quota system, said Amjad Ali, the university’s acting proctor.

On information, they university authorities unlocked the gates around 8:00am, he said adding that regular classes and examinations were being held at the university.

RAJSHAHI UNIVERSITY

RU students blocked Dhaka-Rajshahi highway demanding cancellation of the quota provision.

Over 2,000 students started demonstration in front of the university’s main gate around 11:00am, halting traffic movement on the highway for around 45 minutes, reported our RU correspondent.

The agitators, who have been demonstrating under the banner of “general students”, left the highway around 11:45am.

Later, they returned to campus and started fresh demonstration boycotting classes.

Around 12:15pm, the students held a rally in front of the university’s central library and reiterated their vow to continue the protest until the government cancels the quota provision.

As part of the protest, they will again block the highway and boycott the classes on Monday, the agitators said.

JAHANGIRNAGAR UNIVERSITY

JU students held a rally on Shaheed Minar premises around noon and then brought out a procession on the campus for scrapping the quota provision.

Addressing the rally, they also decided to hold a protest rally on the campus on Monday to press home their demand.

Meanwhile, a number of demonstrators alleged that the leaders and activists of Bangladesh Chhatra League (BCL), student wing of ruling Awami League, threatened them to drive them out of their dormitories if they join the protest programme.

CHITTAGONG UNIVERSITY

The CU students held a rally in front of Shaheed Minar around 11:00am and also brought out a procession on the campus demanding the same.

They also threatened to continue their agitation until their demand is met, said Md Rafiq, sub-inspector of the Campus Police Box.

BACKGROUND

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 DhakaUniversity 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 RajshahiUniversity.

In face of the student protest, the PSC on Saturday decided to announce revised results of the 34th BCS preliminary exam Sunday afternoon, scrapping the earlier one based on the quota policy.

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