Bangladesh Prime Minister (PM) Sheikh Hasina last night (11 April) announced an end to reservations in the country after widespread student protests gripped the country bringing daily life to a standstill.
Under the Bangladeshi system, 56 per cent of government jobs are reserved for families of freedom fighters, women, ethnic minorities, people with disabilities and people belonging to backward districts of the country, as reported by Bangladesh-based Daily Star.
Although the students were demanding that the quota be lowered to 10 per cent, Hasina declared a total abolition of the quota.
"The quota system stands scrapped to stop repeated sufferings and avoid hassles of tackling movement time and again,” Hasina declared in the Bangladeshi parliament.
“If we go for reforms, another group will come up after a few days and say 'we want further reforms'. This issue will keep coming if the quota system remains. But if it ceases to exist, there will be no problem. So, there's no need for having the quota system," she added.
She however, also said that a different system will be put in place so that ethnic minorities and handicapped people aren’t disadvantaged.
Spontaneous student protests throughout major towns in Bangladesh since the last four days saw the visibly irate PM give in to the protestors.
"For the last several days, classes and studies have been suspended at all universities. There was an attack on the residence of the VC. There is traffic jam on roads. People are suffering,” she said while addressing the Parliament.
Earlier, more than 100 protesting students were injured when police was called in to contain the protests in Dhaka University. The protestors have decided to call off their movement following the PM’s statement.