Demo for FF quota resumes

Demonstrators under the banner of Muktijoddher Shantan O Projomo block the city's Shahbagh intersection yesterday demanding reinstatement of the 30 percent quota for freedom fighters' children and grandchildren in government jobs. Photo: Amran Hossain

Descendants of freedom fighters yesterday took to the streets once again, demanding the reinstatement of 30 percent quota for children and grandchildren of freedom fighters for classes I and II government jobs.

Around 200 demonstrators, under the banner of “Muktijoddhar Santan o Projonmo”, yesterday staged an hour-long protest by blocking the capital's Shahbagh intersection.

After initially forming a human chain in front of the National Museum around 3:30pm, they blocked the roundabout by barricading all the roads that lead to the area.

The demonstrator began the protest a day after the Cabinet Secretary Mohammad Shafiul Alam informed journalists that the status of the quota for the disabled in government jobs would remain unchanged.

protest for freedom fighters quota
Children and grandchildren of freedom fighters form a human chain blocking the Shahbagh intersection in Dhaka on January 22, 2019 demanding reinstatement of 30 per cent quota in government jobs.Photo: Star/ Shaheen Mollah

The agitators withdrew the blockade around 5:00pm following assurance from Bangladesh Chhatra League President Md Rezwanul Haque Chowdhury Shovon and General Secretary Golam Rabbani that the prime minister would be informed about the matter.

General Secretary of Dhaka University's Muktijoddha Sangsad Santan Command Al Mamun said Rabbani requested them to postpone the protest saying that he would inform the PM about the demands.

“Following his request, we postponed our agitation for the time being,”  Mamun told reporters.

Descendants of freedom fighters have been demanding the 30 percent quota in public service recruitment ever since the government scrapped quotas in classes I and II of government jobs last year, as per the recommendations by a government committee.

The committee, led by the cabinet secretary, was formed to review the quota system after nationwide demonstrations by quota reformists intensified in April last year.