Violence mustn't overshadow rightful demands | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, April 10, 2018 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:00 AM, April 10, 2018


Violence mustn't overshadow rightful demands

We condemn vandalising DU VC's house

We strongly condemn the violence perpetrated by all sides—protesters, law enforcement, and BCL activists. On the one hand were police excesses in the form of teargas shells, rubber bullets, water cannons and batons which led to many injuries, including those sustained by journalists. There was clearly disproportionate use of force by the police. Photos of protesters bleeding profusely from serious injuries are already doing the rounds on social media. To no one's surprise, BCL activists also swooped on and attacked protesters. Who gave BCL the authority to act as the police's ancillary force? On the other hand, the home of DU's Vice Chancellor was vandalised, cars were torched and brickbats were hurled by protesters which we have no words to condemn. All this is simply unacceptable. And we fail to understand how vandalising the VC's home would help protesters' cause.

We would also like to reiterate that the violence we have witnessed in Sunday's protests should not undermine the legitimacy of the demands for reform of the quota system in public service—which we have consistently voiced our support for. The existing quota system is highly disproportionate, does not reward meritocracy and has been abused by the political parties in power.

The prime minister has already given the green signal for dialogue to begin between the protesters and the government which should be acted upon forthwith. The quota system should be rationalised as the current 56 percent quota seriously undermines meritocracy. The ruling party should also rein in BCL activists who are only adding fuel to the fire in the midst of all this agitation.

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