Dhaka,  Monday
15 July 2024

Quota protesters’ nationwide Bangla Blockade brings commute to a standstill

Messenger Online

Published: 13:35, 10 July 2024

Quota protesters’ nationwide Bangla Blockade brings commute to a standstill

Photo: Daily Messenger

Quota protesters are observing a nationwide ‘Bangla Blockade’ on Wednesday (10 July), demanding the government reform the quota system.

In Dhaka, students gathered at the Shahbagh intersection around noon yet again, chanting slogans against the quota system, bringing vehicular movement in the area to a standstill.

In Cumilla, students from Cumilla University blocked the Dhaka-Chattogram highway at Kotbari Bishwa Road around 11 am, causing a long tailback on both sides of the highway. Additional police were deployed to maintain law and order.

In Khulna, students from Brajalal College (BL) took to the streets at Natun Rasta around 10 am as part of the Bangla Blockade. They also blocked railway tracks in the city, halting train communications.

Similarly, students from Bangladesh Agricultural University (BAU) barricaded railway tracks, halting the Dewanganj-bound 'Teesta Express' from Dhaka at Jabbarer Mor around 10:45 am, suspending train services. They also marched on campus to support the Bangla Blockade.

The protesters announced yesterday that the 'Bangla Blockade' will run from 10 am to evening today. The blockade has disrupted traffic and railways across Dhaka and other parts of the country, causing significant public suffering.

Students of Dhaka University and other universities have been protesting for several days against the High Court’s order reinstating quotas in government jobs. Yesterday, protesters filed an application with the Appellate Division seeking a stay on the High Court order reinstating the freedom fighter quota.

Earlier, on July 4, the High Court adjourned a hearing on a petition filed by the state seeking a stay on the High Court verdict due to the absence of the writ petitioner’s lawyer.

The quota system, which reserved 56 percent of positions in government jobs for various quotas, was abolished in 2018. This decision was challenged in 2021 by descendants of freedom fighters, resulting in a High Court ruling on June 5, 2024, declaring the abolition of the freedom fighters’ quota illegal.