Bus services in Barishal and other parts of the country remained suspended from Thursday morning as transport workers blocked the Dhaka-Barishal highway in protest against Wednesday's clash that left over 30 injured.
The clash broke out between the supporters of the ruling Awami League, its students' wing Bangladesh Chhatra League and members of Ansar when the former tried to attack the residence of the Sadar Upazila Nirbahi Officer (UNO) at Sadar Upazila Complex in Barishal on Wednesday night.
Of the injured, five people suffered bullet wounds during the clash.
The transport workers, including the supporters of Barishal City Corporation Mayor Serniabat Sadiq Abdullah, activists of Chhatra League and Jubo League, blocked the Dhaka-Barishal highway by placing buses in Rupatoli and Nathullabad Bus Terminal areas in the small hours of Wednesday.
Besides, launch services in Barishal also remained suspended as the supporters of the mayor did not allow any passenger vessel to leave the terminal, causing immense sufferings to the commuters.
According to eye-witnesses, the Nagar Bhaban staffers went to the residence of Sadar Upazila Nirbahi Officer (UNO) Munibur Rahman to lower a banner hanging over the area.
At one stage, the UNO came out and asked the reason, leading to an altercation between him and Swapan Kumar Das, a staffer of the city corporation.
During the altercation, some 25-30 people entered the complex and a scuffle broke out between the Ansar members and the so-called mob over the issue, triggering a clash. At one stage, the Ansar members opened fire on them, leaving five injured.
On information, police rushed to the spot and charged batons to disperse them.
Some 25 people were injured in the clash with the cops.
Shahabuddin Khan, police commissioner of Barishal, said, "A police team rushed to the spot and the attackers threw brick chips targeting the cops, forcing them to retaliate. Three policemen and two Ansar members were injured during the incident.”
They also vandalised a bus in the area in the night.
Three people who sustained bullet injuries—Shahrier Babu, Harun-or-Rashid and Tanvir-- were taken to Barishal Sher-e-Bangla Medical College and Hospital. Of them, Tanvir was shifted to Dhaka for better treatment.
UNO Munibur Rahman said, “Some 15-20 people identifying themselves as Chattra League members entered the house. Later, some 60-70 people also entered the complex and went up to the first floor of the upazila complex building. They also tried to attack me but the Ansar members saved me."
Barishal City Corporation Mayor Serniabat Sadiq Abdullah told the media, "The city corporation staffers went there to perform their duties but the Ansar members attacked them.” He has demanded a probe into the clash.