Witnesses said the protests began around 7am when scores of university students blocked traffic on the busy Barisal-Patuakhali highway, demanding immediate action against the perpetrators of Tuesday's attack that left 11 students injured
Students of Barisal University have been protesting in the city since Wednesday morning against an attack on some of their fellows by local transport workers on Tuesday.
Witnesses said the protests began around 7am when scores of university students blocked traffic on the busy Barisal-Patuakhali highway, demanding immediate action against the perpetrators of Tuesday's attack that left 11 students injured.
According to the injured students, on Tuesday, two students of the university were assaulted by few staffers of Bangladesh Road Transport Corporation (BRTC) at BRTC bus counter in the Rupatoli area of the city.
In protest, some students of the university blocked the bus terminal for two hours. They dispersed only after police arrested one BRTC employee, identified as Rafique, in connection with the attack.
In retaliation, the transport workers armed with sticks barged into a university hostel and attacked a student, identified as Mahmudul Hasan Tomal, on Tuesday night.
As the news of the attack spread on social media, students from other hostels of the university rushed to the spot to save Tomal. The transport workers attacked Tomal's rescuers too, leaving 11 injured.
The injured students -- Nurullah Siddique, SM Sohanur Rahman, Ahsanuzzaman, Fazlul Haque, Alim Salehi, Ali Hasan, Rajon Hossain, Mahbubur Rahman, Mahadi Hasan Emon, Miraz Hawladar and Sajeeb Sheikh -- are being treated at Sher-e-Bangla Medical College and Hospital.
Dr Subrata Kumar Das, proctor of Barisal University, said that as soon they got the information of the attack, senior officials rushed to the spot and subsequently ensured proper treatment to the injured.
A delegation of university administration and students sat in a meeting at 11:30am on Wednesday to resolve the ongoing crisis. At the meeting, students raised a three-point demand and said they would not suspend their protest until the demands were met.
The three demands are taking immediate steps to bring the culprits of Tuesday's attack to justice, filing a case against the perpetrators on behalf of the university administration and taking steps to ensure the safety of all non-resident students.
At the meeting held at Kirtankhola auditorium of the university, Vice-Chancellor Chadekul Arefin assured the students that their demands would be met and called for the withdrawal of the blockade. However, the students announced that the blockade will continue until the demand is implemented and after about an hour of discussion, they continued with their protest.