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Students announce daylong ‘Bangla Blockade’ for Wednesday

The agitating university students who are against the quota system in government jobs, on Tuesday announced a day-long blockade, dubbed ‘Bangla Blockade’ across the country for Wednesday (July 10).

Nahid Islam, coordinator of the student movement, announced the programme at a press briefing held in front of the Central Library of University of Dhaka (DU) on Tuesday afternoon.

He also demanded the reinstatement of the 2018 government circular that abolished the quota system in government jobs.

“Our Bangla Blockade will be enforced across 64 districts of the country starting from 10:00am and ending at 6:00pm on Wednesday, covering both road and railways,” he said.

Another coordinator of the movement, Sarjis Alam, said, “If the executive branch of the government forms a commission accepting our demands, only then will we leave the streets and return to our classrooms.”

Hasnat Abdullah, another coordinator of the Anti-Discrimination Student Movement, said, “We believe a maximum 5 per cent of government jobs can be reserved for disadvantaged communities.”

He urged students from public universities and colleges to block the roads, highways and rail tracks adjacent to their campuses from 10am to 6pm on Wednesday.

Naim Islam, another key organiser of the quota reform movement, told reporters that the students have initiated the present countrywide crisis. They have taken to the streets in response to a “discriminatory” High Court verdict. The protesters do not want to trouble the general people with their blockades, but so far they have not received any acceptable assurance from the government to halt their demonstrations.

Coordinator Hasnat Abdullah alleged that some media outlets are wrongly interpreting the students’ motive behind protests with some claiming the protesters are against the Liberation War of 1971. But on the contrary, the protesters are not questioning the rewards bestowed upon valiant freedom fighters, and rather want logical practical reform of the quota system.