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Quota, pension movements under close watch: Quader

July 10, 2024 00:00:00

Awami League (AL) General Secretary Obaidul Quader speaking at a joint meeting at the AL's central office in the city's Bangabandhu Avenue area on Tuesday. — Focus Bangla

Awami League (AL) General Secretary Obaidul Quader has said the government is observing both the protests by students and job seekers against quotas in government jobs and the teachers' ongoing movement to repeal the Prottoy pension scheme, reports bdnews24.com.

"Everything will be solved on time. We [the government] are keeping an eye on the two programmes with caution," said the AL leader.

He made the remarks while speaking at a joint meeting at the AL's central office in the city's Bangabandhu Avenue on Tuesday.

Asked about AL's stance concerning the two movements, Quader said the Awami League is standing by the government's decisions.

"As far as I know, the students protesting against the quota system have no scheduled programme today, I extend my thanks to them for that. I also heard that they had appointed a lawyer to represent them during the hearing of the case at the top court and they will appear before the court on time. This is a logical decision."

The students and job-seekers resumed protests after the High Court declared the 2018 notice repealing the freedom fighter quota system for recruitment to first and second-class government jobs was illegal.

The protesters have a list of four demands.

The first is the abolition of the quota system in government jobs - which was announced in 2018 after intense protests - and the retention of merit-based recruitment circulars.

The second demand is the swift formation of a commission to eliminate 'unreasonable and discriminatory' quotas in all grades of government jobs, ensuring that only marginalised groups are considered for quotas as per the Constitution.

The third demand says the quota facility cannot be used more than once in government job recruitment exams, and any vacant positions previously reserved under a quota should be filled based on merit.

The fourth seeks effective measures to ensure a corruption-free, impartial, and merit-based bureaucracy.

The protesters blocked different busy intersections in Dhaka on Sunday and Monday as part of their 'Bangla Blockade' programme, causing severe gridlocks across the city that led to huge suffering for residents.

The protesters also formed a 65-strong committee to synchronise the movement under the banner of the 'Anti-Discrimination Student Movement'. The committee warned of a nationwide blockade programme if their demands are not met.

Stating the government's stance on the quotas, Quader said, "Our position on the matter is clear as the government took a step to repeal the quota system by issuing a notice in 2018 and the state activities have been conducted so far per the decision.

Meanwhile, seven people, including the son of a freedom fighter, filed a case challenging the decision. The High Court issued a judgement against which the state appealed to the Appellate Division as per the rules.

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