Asia Bangladeshi students protest government job quotas

Bangladeshi students protest government job quotas

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Students of Dhaka University and job seekers stage a demonstration at Shahbagh intersection in Dhaka on Saturday demanding revision of quota system in government jobs.

 Thousands of university students and job seekers blocked one of Dhaka’s key intersections Sunday demanding cuts in “discriminatory” government job quotas.

The protests against the government of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina center on her administration’s move to allocate 56 percent of civil service jobs for the families of veterans of the war of independence and minorities, forcing university graduates to vie for the remaining 44 percent.

As part of a countrywide program announced earlier by the Bangladesh General Student Rights Protection Council, students from various universities and job seekers gathered in front of the Dhaka University Central Library in the afternoon. They later marched to the Shahbagh intersection to stage a sit-in.

Speaking to Anadolu Agency, Hasan Al Mamun, the convener of the assembly, said they will continue their protest until their demands are met.

“The parliament is in session. Those who are in parliament are elected by our direct vote. Today, we will see what they do for the people,” he said.

 “We will leave the intersection only if they make a decision in favor of our demands at parliament. Our movement is totally nonviolent; we will not do anything even if someone opens fire on us.

“In Bangladesh nowadays, 56 percent of the first and second-class jobs are assigned under various preference quotas and the remaining 44 percent are recruited under the merit quota in the government job sector,” he added.

According to a survey by the Bangladesh Bureau of Statistics, the number of unemployed in Bangladesh totaled 2.7 million in the 2016-17 financial year.

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