3 quota demo leaders released after ‘detention’ by DB


Dhaka, Apr 16: Barely an hour after their ultimatum for withdrawal of all the cases filed against them during their demonstration for quota reform, three leaders of Bangladesh General Students’ Rights Protection Council were reportedly picked up by detectives from near Dhaka Medical College Hospital (DMCH) on Monday.Police, however, said they only called the three joint conveners of the council –Rashed Khan, Nurul Haque and Farooque Haque– to go to their Mintoo Road office to discuss violence on the Dhaka University campus.

Rashed Khan said the DB police picked them up into a microbus around 1:25 pm while they were returning to their destinations from the DMCH after visiting some students who got hurt during the quota-reform demonstration, and interrogated them for over an hour.

They were later released around 2:50 pm, he added.

Contacted, DB Joint Commissioner Abdul Baten said they only interrograted the three students for the sake of investigation into the violence on the DU campus.

He said they crosschecked various information and video footages relating to violence and the attack on DU VC’s residence during the quota-reform movement through discussion with the three leaders of the movement.

Baten denied the allegation of picking the three movement leaders up forcefully and said they only called them to go to their office and the three leaders left the DB office after discussions with them.

Earlier, Nurul Haque, co-convener of the council, read out a written statement at a press conference demanding the withdrawal of all the cases filed against the protesters during quota reform movement within two days.

Leaders of the council also threatened to wage a movement again if their demand is not met within the stipulated time.

The press conference was held in front of the Dhaka University central library on around 11am.

Earlier on April 11, four cases were filed against unnamed accused following the clash and vandalism on the DU campus and its VC’s house during the demonstration for the reformation of quota system in government jobs.

At the press conference, the agitating students also protested a report published by the ‘Daily Ittefaq’ which termed the protesters as ‘Shibir’ activists.

They also demanded the withdrawal of the news saying, “If the newspaper does not withdraw the report within 5pm today (Monday), all educational institutions and universities will boycott the newspaper from tomorrow (Tuesday).”

The leaders also demanded the arrest of the miscreants involved in the attack on the DU VC”s residence.

They also urged the authorities not to harass any student either on university campus or at halls.

Earlier on Thursday, the council announced to stay all their protest programmes in response to Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s decision to cancel all quotas for government jobs.

On February 17, students and jobseekers started the movement to press for their five-point demand that include introduction of unified age limit in government jobs, review of quota system in government recruitment process, including Bangladesh Civil Service (BCS) examination, stopping taking benefit by job seekers under the same quota, filling vacant posts from merit list if the candidates from quota are not found and fixation of 10 percent quota instead of existing 56 percent.

Source: UNB