Awami League, Chhatra League activists arrested over the attack on the Sadar UNO’s residence
After nearly six hours, bus and launch services in Barisal resumed on Thursday noon following the intervention of the local administration.
The bus services in Barisal and other parts of the country had remained suspended since morning as transport workers blocked the Dhaka-Barisal Highway in protest against Wednesday's clash that left over 30 injured.
Meanwhile, police arrested as many as 13 activists of the ruling Awami League and Chhatra League from different parts of the city in connection with the attack on the residence of the Sadar Upazila Nirbahi Officer (UNO) Munibur Rahman.
Joint General Secretary of Barisal Metropolitan unit of Awami League, Hasan Mahmud Babu, and Vice-President of the city unit of Chhatra League Oliullah Oli were among the arrestees, said Officer-in-Charge (OC) of Kotwali Model police station Nurul Islam.
The clash broke out between the supporters of the Awami League, Chhatra League, and members of Ansar when the former tried to attack the residence of the UNO at Sadar Upazila Complex in Barisal on Wednesday night.
Of the injured, five people suffered bullet wounds during the clash.
The transport workers, including the supporters of Barisal City Corporation Mayor Serniabat Sadiq Abdullah, activists of Chhatra League and Jubo League, blocked the Dhaka-Barisal highway by placing buses in Rupatoli and Nathullabad Bus Terminal areas in the small hours of Wednesday.
Besides, launch services in Barisal also remained suspended as the supporters of the mayor did not allow any passenger vessel to leave the terminal, causing immense suffering to the commuters.
According to eye-witnesses, the Nagar Bhaban staffers went to the residence of Sadar 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 Barisal, 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 vandalized a bus in the area at night.
Three people who sustained bullet injuries – Shahrier Babu, Harun-or-Rashid, and Tanvir – were taken to Barisal 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 Chhatra 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."
Barisal 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.