Police charge batons at protesters in Chattogram

Police chase batons at students at gate No 2 in Chattogram on 11 JulyJewel Shill

Police in Chattogram on Thursday obstructed and charged batons at students who are agitating in demand of reform in the quota system in government service.

Police charged batons as protesters advanced, breaching the police barricade, at Tiger Pass intersection in the city at around 4:45pm. The protesters then went to gate No 2 area, 1.5 kilometers away from Tiger Pass, where they were also beaten by police. Despite the police action, students take positions in the area. Police men were also stationed there.

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The protesters, under the banner of ‘Anti-discrimination student movement, Chattogram University and affiliated colleges’, enforced blockade in the city as part of centrally announced ‘Bangla Blockade’ demanding reform in the existing quota system. The protesters are pressing for decreasing the existing 56 per cent quota to 5 per cent.

The students blocked the number 5 line of Chattogram rail station at around 2:40pm. Dhaka-bound train Mohanagar Godhuli was on the line. Within just two minutes, police reached the spot and asked the protesters to leave the station saying it is KPI (Key Point Installation) area. The police also asked them to start their programme at 3:30pm as per schedule.

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The students then lifted the blockade and took position in front of the old rail station where additional police force was deployed. The railway officials locked the gate of the station as soon as the students came out of the gate.

Later, another section of students gathered in front of the old railway station at 3:50pm. Students then reached the Tiger Pass area in a procession. Police and protesters locked into an altercation that lasted for 25 minutes from 4:20pm. Later, the students broke the police barricade and headed towards gate No 2.

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The protesters in Dhaka’s Shahbagh also broke the police barricade to head towards Shahbagh intersection from Dhaka University demanding quota reform at around 5:00pm.