Agitators consent to suspend quota reform demo till May 7

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Dhaka, Apr 09:The protesters seeking reform of quota system in public service agreed to halt their agitation for one month (till May 7) after a meeting with Awami League general secretary Obaidul Quader at secretariat on Monday.

The decision was taken after a meeting with road transport and bridges minister Obaidul Quader held at the secretariat on Monday.

“The concerned ministry will scrutinise the existing quota system and later further decision will be taken in this regard,” the minister told reporter after the meeting.

The government will ensure proper treatment for the injured protestors, he added.

The minister also asked the Dhaka Metropolitan commissioner to release innocent students who are detained from the rally. “The DMP will ensure that innocent students won’t be affected,” the minister added.

The government holds talks with the quota reform protesters in the wake of escalation of protests across the country over the quota system.

Following overnight violence over demonstration at and around Dhaka University campus demanding reforms in quota system in public service, protests were held on all major campuses across the country on Monday.

Earlier, the protesters under the banner of Bangladesh Sadharon Chhatra Odhikar Songrokhon Parishad (Action Council for General Students’ Rights) have in the meantime gave a deadline for the release of around 25 demonstrators who were detained.

Against this backdrop, ruling Bangladesh Awami League’s (AL) general secretary and road transport and bridges minister Obaidul Quader convened a meeting with the demonstrators on Monday afternoon.

He called 20 members of the protesters to the Secretariat, leaders of parishad said.

Its joint convener Rashed Khan earlier said they are ready for talks on the quota reform with the government.

The AL’s media wing also confirmed that Obaidul Quader called 20 of the protesters for talks.

The protests have already spread across the country since the morning.

The students boycotted classes and examinations and blocked roads and highways near their campuses disrupting traffic movement in the near-by areas.

Students of Jahangirnagar University boycotted the classes and examinations and staged demonstration. A group of students blocked the Dhaka-Arichah highway for some time.

Students of Rajshahi University blocked the Dhaka-Rajshahi highway to press home their demand of Quota reform in public services.

Students at Islami University, Kushtia boycotted their classes and staged demonstration. They gathered at the campuses from the morning and marched the whole campus. Regular classes and examinations were not held at the university.

However, university proctor Mahbubur Rahman claimed that classes and examinations were held as usual.

Students at Noakhali Science and Technology University staged demonstration at 10 am helding process around the campus.

Witnesses said students gathered on the campus at 10 am and blocked the nearby the Sonapur-Subornochor road and movement of vehicles remained suspended on this road. Students said they would continue the protest till their demands are met.