The organisation of students demanding reforms to quota system in government jobs has given the police and Dhaka University authorities a week’s deadline to withdraw the cases over violent clashes during the protests.
The Council for the Preservation of Bangladesh General Students’ Rights Joint Convener Nurul Haque Nur told a news conference in front of the Dhaka University Central Library on Wednesday they would call a strike for an indefinite period at all educational institutions if the cases were not lifted within the period.
On Apr 8, the protesters clashed with police and Bangladesh Chhatra League on the campus overnight. The vice-chancellor’s house was also attacked.
Police and the university authorities started five cases over the incidents.
Nur said they fear harassment of students as the plaintiffs accused unidentified people in the cases.
He demanded punishment to the ‘actual culprits’ by identifying them from video footages.
He also alleged those leading the protesters were receiving threats.
“Security of the students who took part in the protests and their leaders must be ensured,” he said.
Three days after the Apr 8 clashes, students and jobseekers under the banner of the council hit the streets again, bringing traffic on key roads to a halt.
When Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina said on that afternoon she would rather see the quota system abolished than repeated protests, the students postponed the demonstration.
Nur reiterated on Wednesday their demands now include swift publication of a gazette confirming the abolishment of quotas in public service recruitment and withdrawal of the cases.
The council’s Joint Convenors Farooq Hossain and Muhammad Rashed Khan were also present.