Bangla Blockade': Students Block Shahbagh Intersection Protesting Quota System

Photo: Collected

Photo: Collected

Students demonstrating against quotas in government jobs have blocked the Shahbagh intersection this afternoon as part of their "Bangla Blockade" programme protesting the reinstatement of the quota system in government jobs.

Hundreds of students gathered in front of the Dhaka University Central Library around 3:00pm and started a procession around 3:20pm, moving through several campus streets, reports our DU correspondent.

A section of DU students first blocked Chankharpul intersection near Mayor Hanif Flyover around 3:30pm, blocking the ramps to get on and off the flyover.

Then, around 3:50pm, hundreds of students blocked the Shahbagh intersection.

Meanwhile, students of Sher-e-Bangla Agricultural University blocked the road near their university in the capital's Agargaon around 3:45pm, said Ahad Ali, officer-in-charge of Sher-e-Bangla Police Station.

The blockade has created severe traffic congestion in the area.

The students have taken to the streets for the sixth straight day, planning to block key intersections in the capital and highways next to campuses across the country.

According to the programme schedule, students of DU and other universities and colleges will block intersections in Chankharpul, Shahbagh, Science Lab, Agargaon, Mohakhali, and Paltan areas in the capital.

Today's Rath Yatra will not fall under the purview of the "Bangla Blockade".

As per their announcement, college and university students will go on an indefinite strike from today, demanding reinstatement of a 2018 order that abolished quotas.

Students of Dhaka College and nearby institutions blocked the road in Dhaka's Science Lab area around 1:30pm.

Witnesses and police said the students marched and blocked the busy intersection, haling traffic movement in nearby areas.

Parvez Islam, officer-in-charge of Dhanmondi Police Station, said the protesting students blocked the road and additional police forces were deployed in the area.

"We are observing the situation carefully," he said.

The blockade has created severe traffic congestion in the surrounding areas. Many took to social media to warn city dwellers to steer clear of the area.

Earlier, Hundreds of students of Jahangirnagar University (JU) blocked the Dhaka-Aricha highway near the university campus for around two hours.

AFM Sayeed, the officer-in-charge of Ashulia Police Station, said the students left the busy highway around 1:00pm.

JU students started their protest march from the campus and took position at the Dairy Gate area around 11:00 am.

The blockade caused significant traffic congestion, with hundreds of vehicles stuck on both sides of the highway.

Meanwhile, students of Barishal University blocked the Barishal-Kuakata highway to protest the reinstatement of the quota system in government jobs.

Students started their protest march from the campus and took position at the Nathullabad bus stand area around 11:30am.

The protesters were still on the streets when our local correspondent filed this report around 2:00pm.

They were chanting slogans in support of the abolishment of the quota system.

After their demonstration began, there were long tailbacks on both sides of the highway.

Arichul Haque, officer-in-charge of Kotwali Police Station, told The Daily Star that despite requests to leave the Dhaka-Barishal-Kuakata highway blockade, the students remained on the road.

Local and long-distance buses were unable to depart Nathullabad as a result, the OC added.

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