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Students protest in Dhaka against tax on university fees

Students protest in Dhaka against tax on university fees

DHAKA: Thousands of students staged street protests in the Bangladeshi capital for a second straight day on Thursday against a tax on university fees which they say discriminates against private higher education.

The students barricaded key roads across Dhaka as part of the rally, bringing traffic to a halt in the city of 15 million people, as police looked on.

Tensions were high after police fired rubber bullets and tear gas at protesting students on Wednesday from the city’s East West University after they blocked a key road.

At least 35 people were injured in the clashes between protesters and police, mass-circulated English newspaper The Daily Star said.

“We were holding the protest peacefully when police fired rubber bullets all of a sudden,” Mashfiq Ahsan, a protest organiser, said.

“Education is not a product but one of our fundamental rights. This added tax is absolutely absurd,” he said.

Students are angry over a 7.5 per cent value added tax slapped recently on fees for private universities where thousands of Bangladeshi students are enrolled, but not those for public institutions.—AFP

Published in Dawn, September 11th, 2015

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