People in Barishal city and five southern districts under Barishal division suffered for the whole day on Saturday due to the unrest caused by protests of students of the University of Barishal and transport workers.
Hundreds of people had to walk when transports were closed.
"I came from Pirojpur to visit a doctor at his private chamber in Barishal city. I cannot walk smoothly as I am pregnant. Transport workers forced me to get off the bus along with other passengers," said Shahanaj Akter.
Shajahan, an old man from Nalchity in Jhalakathi, said, "I feel pain in my feet when I walk. But I have no way but to walk around two kilometres to cross Rupatali bus stand."
Every day, hundreds of people from the neighbouring districts come to Barishal city to get treatment. Due to the protests, many had to return.
"I have been waiting at Kalijira to enter the city with my goods-laden truck since morning. I was hoping that the blockade would be withdrawn. Unfortunately, it is afternoon, and I am still here," said Rahat.
Wholesale markets in the city saw a few buyers throughout the day.
"My sales dropped to one-fourth of the usual days' figures," said Md Rafiqul Islam, owner of Sumon Medical Hall, the biggest wholesale medicine shop in Barishal.
Students of the University of Barishal blocked the Barishal-Patuakhali highway since morning to continue their protests against the 16 February attack on their fellow pupils by transport workers. They had been protesting since 17 February.
During Saturday's protests, students demanded that the attackers be sued and arrested.
On 17 February, the university authorities filed a case in connection with the attack on students without mentioning any names though students had identified the attackers. That is why students did not accept the case and continued their protests.
Meanwhile, as students were protesting on Saturday, members of Rupatali Bus Sramik Union blocked Rupatali bus stand to protest against the arrests of two workers of the union in connection with the attack on students.
The arrestees are Feroz and Ronny, who were sent to jail on Saturday.
Additional police were deployed in the area to check further unrest. Road communications between Barishal division and five districts were cut off.
"Protesting students held a meeting with the university authorities and police in the afternoon but it ended without any decision," said Tamal, leader of the student protests.
Students want to stay in their dorms on the campus, but the university authorities rejected the demand, he said.
"The case against the attackers must be filed as an attempt to murder case. But it was filed as a simple torture case," added Tamal.
Students also demanded the arrest of Kawser Hossain Shipon, secretary of Rupatali Bus Owners Association who led the 16 February attack.
During the protests, bus workers called an indefinite transport strike and took position at Rupatali bus stand, the entrance to five districts under Barishal. No vehicle was allowed to run within five to seven kilometres on the highway.
"We called the strike, demanding the release of the arrested bus workers. We want their unconditional release. If they are not released by today, we will take tougher actions," said Shipon.
Both students and bus workers continued their protests when the report was filed at 6pm. Police and the local administration tried to mediate, but to no avail.
"We are working to pacify students," said Subrata Kumar Das, proctor of the university.
On 16 February, a student was stabbed by a BRTC bus counter employee in Rupatali during an altercation. Later at night, a group of students living in a mess in Rupatali were attacked for filing a case in this connection.
Fourteen students were injured in the attack.