Demanding quota reform, HSTU students block highway

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Update : Monday, July 8, 2024

The Students of Hajee Mohammad Danesh Science and Technology University (HSTU) have blocked the Dinajpur-Rangpur highway for about an hour and a half, protesting with a four-point demand including the abolition of quotas in government jobs.
On Sunday (July 7) around 11:30 AM, they started the protest in front of the university’s main gate. As a result of the blockade, traffic on both sides of the highway came to a stand, causing severe traffic congestion and extreme inconvenience for passengers.
Blocking the highway, the students chanted various slogans against the reinstatement of quotas such as “Quota system, quota system—we won’t accept it,” “Abolish the quota system— it must be done,” “No place for discrimination in the land of the Liberation War,” “No place for discrimination in Bangabandhu’s Bangladesh,” and more.
Manik Barman, a student of the Sociology Department who participated in the protest, said, “The positive changes we achieved from the 2018 quota reform movement were undone when the quota was reinstated in 2024.
This has led the general student body to rise up again, and our program will continue until we see tangible results in quota reform. We know that our Father of the Nation, Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, did not want a discriminatory Bangladesh, but the current quota system has created discrimination against the general student body, which we will not easily accept.”
Md Shakil Hasan, a student of the English Department, said, “I have two purposes for joining the movement. Firstly, it is our moral and national duty to honor the spirit and sacrifices of the Liberation War and our brave freedom fighters. They risked their lives to make this country free from discrimination.
It is unacceptable that such discrimination has returned to this land. Secondly, since there are not enough positions in the job market in Bangladesh, if we cannot give the highest merit and effort its due value, it won’t take long for us to become a meritless nation.
In this golden land of Bengal, deserving meritorious students cannot be deprived by the quota system. I am hopeful that quota reform will happen soon.”
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