Police yesterday foiled a group of jobseekers' attempt to hold a rally in front of National Museum in the capital, to press home their demand of raising age limit to 35 years [from 30] for entering government jobs.
The law enforcers barred the agitators from holding a rally and detained at least seven of them around noon.
Bangladesh Sadharan Chhatra Parishad, the platform spearheading the protest, was scheduled to start their programme around 12:00pm.
Some 120-130 students from different colleges and universities, under the platform's banner, started gathering on the premises of Public Library around that time, said one of the demonstrators.
When they tried to bring out a procession, a team of police deployed in front of the library gate, obstructed them.
The protesters locked into an altercation with the police and asked to be let out, assuring that they would not block any road.
But the law enforcers refused to do so, citing the prime minister's programme [today] at Suhrawardy Udyan.
As the protesters were shaking the gate continuously, at one stage the gate's lock opened. Then they tried to bring out a procession and police detained some of them.
The rest of the protesters then sat inside the library grounds and stayed there till 1:10pm. They left after police assured them that they would not be arrested.
“We sought permission to hold the programme at TSC in Dhaka University instead of Shahbagh but police did not allow us,'' said Sanjay Das, convener of the platform.
Police detained 17 members of the platform from the spot, claimed Sanjoy.
Police always permit students to wage peaceful demos but the demonstrators were asked not to hold any programme in the area on security grounds as Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina will attend a programme at Suhrawardy Udyan today, Azimul Haque, additional deputy commissioner of Dhaka Metropolitan Police, told reporters.
As some students tried to create chaos, police detained seven of them for interrogation, he said.
According to Chhatra Parishad, they have been staging demonstrations since 2012 to press home the demand. Several lawmakers extended their support to the demand, but it was yet to be met.
In June this year, a parliamentary committee on the public administration ministry had recommended extending the age limit to 35 years for entering civil service. It again made the same recommendation on September 10.
Currently, the age limit for entering public service is 30 and the retirement age is 59 years.