A section of students continues agitation in Dhaka rejecting the decision on postponement of quota reform demonstration.
Hundreds of agitating students took position at different points on Dhaka University campus and Shahbagh intersection as the government did not take any clear stance to meet their demand.
After a meeting with a delegation of the protesters in the evening, Awami League General Secretary Obaidul Quader said the government will take decision on quota reforms by May 7 and the demonstration will be postponed until the government’s decision.
As the delegation conveyed the development to their fellow agitators, the section of them rejected the decision and vowed to continued their movement demanding specific announce from the government to resolve the issue.
Ahmed Salikin, a masters student of DU, said, “We don’t want to stay away from the movement based on the decision. We cannot allow the government to consume the time.”
Hundreds of protesters along female students took position at different points on the campus with banners, placards, posters and seen chanting slogans in fevour of their demand till 9:40pm.
Then, they called off their demonstration for today announcing that they will resume their protest on the campus at 11:00am tomorrow.
Earlier in the evening, a section of protesters left the areas accepting the decision of the postponement.
Nurul Haque, joint convener of the movement, briefed the students about the outcome of the meeting. “The government will take decision on reforms in quota system by May 7. We will postpone the movement till the time,” he said.
Since morning, protesters have been marching up and down the Dhaka University campus – through Arts Faculty, Central Library, TSC, and Doyel Chattar – chanting slogans for reducing the 56 per cent quota reservation to around 10 per cent to allow non-quota holders to compete.
Law enforcers – police and Rapid Action Battalion – were seen deployed aplenty throughout the campus, at Shahbagh, Doyel Chattar, Nilkhet, and several other key points within the campus. Armoured vehicles and water cannons have been kept at the ready.
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Outside Dhaka, demonstrations have taken place at Rajshahi University, Shahjalal University, Chittagong University and others, while police action has been reported on students of Jahangirnagar University.
In Jahangirnagar University, a section of students blocked Dhaka-Aricha highway on 11:30am. Last reported at 1:30pm, police intervened with tear gas shells to disperse the road block.
Regular classes have been hampered with thin attendance of students.
Chittagong University students blocked the shuttle train service at Sholosohor, Chittagong city, this morning, said Sholosahar Railway Station’s Station master Mohammad Shahabuddin.
In Rajshahi University, thousands of students started a sit-in in front of the university’s main gate blocking the Dhaka-Rajshahi highway since 10:00am.
Some teachers were also seen participating in the protest that halted vehicular movement on the highway when this report was filed around 11:45am.
Meanwhile, students of Rajshahi University of Science and Technology (RUET) also joined the protest taking position in front of the university main gate around 11:30am.
The students of both the universities called off today’s agitation in the evening.
In Shahjalal University of Science and Technology (Sust), students staged peaceful sit-in protests inside the campus pledging their solidarity with the movement.
More than 500 students were holding the sit-in program abstaining from classes and exams, our Sylhet correspondent report from the spot. Additional law enforcement was also observed.
Last night was a night of battle at Dhaka University. Throughout the night, police tried to quell quota demonstrators – lobbing tear gas shells, charging batons and firing rubber bullets.
Widespread vandalism took place on the hands of agitating students, including at the residence of Dhaka University’s vice chancellor. The cars in his residence compound were torched.