Anti-quota movement: Protestors block Science Lab intersection

Anti-quota protestors demonstrate blocking Science Lab Intersection in Dhaka on 10 July 2024Ashraful Alam

The students and job aspirants started demonstrations blocking the Science Lab intersection to press home their demand of reforming the quota system in government jobs on Wednesday morning.

The protestors started the demonstrations around 10:30 am as part of their “Bangla Blockade” programme.

They were chanting various slogans against the quota system.

The demonstrators said the quota system should be reformed so that the meritorious people are not deprived of their rights.

Earlier, the programme was announced from a media conference, organised by the “anti-discrimination student movement” in front of the Dhaka University central library Tuesday afternoon.

The protestors demand a law be passed in the Jatiya Sangsad (parliament) abolishing all the discriminatory and illogical quota, except a minimum quota for backward communities as per the constitution, in all the grades of government jobs.

As per their announcement, the blockade will be enforced on roads and rail routes.

Until 2018, there was a 56 per cent quota in government jobs. Due to a movement, the public administration ministry on 4 October 2018 issued a circular abolishing the quota from 9th to 13th grades (Class I and II) in government jobs.

However, in 2021, seven children of freedom fighters, including Ohidul Islam, filed a writ with the High Court challenging the abolition of the freedom fighters’ quota for government jobs.

The High Court issued a rule over the primary hearing of the writ on 6 December 2021, seeking explanation about showing disrespect to freedom fighters and non-compliance of the High Court and the Appellate Division orders.

After the final hearing, the High Court declared the rule “absolute” on 5 June.

Seeking the stay of the High Court verdict, the state filed a petition, which was placed for hearing at the full bench of the Appellate Division via the chamber court.

As the writ petitioner sought time, the Appellate Division ordered “not today” (4 July).

Moreover, the state was asked to file a regular leave to appeal.