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Bharat Bandh: Striking trade Union workers set ablaze vehicles in Noida

Feb 20 2013, 21:01 IST
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Strike called by 11 trade unions; taxi and auto unions extend support in Delhi. (PTI) Strike called by 11 trade unions; taxi and auto unions extend support in Delhi. (PTI)
SummaryWorkers clashed with factory owners in a hosiery complex and set ablaze vehicles.

The nationwide two-day strike, Bharat Bandh, called by trade unions turned violent in Noida where workers clashed with factory owners in a hosiery complex and set ablaze vehicles prompting authorities to deploy PAC in the area.

Workers went on a rampage in Noida Phase 2 area and damaged industrial properties.

From Sector 82 till Greater Noida entry point, which is the industrial belt, workers set ablaze a car, bus and a fire engine, police said.

"People just barged in, looted everything in sight and even tore our registers," a industrialist said.

Another industrialist said every single building in the hosiery complex had their windows broken and many vehicles were on fire.

Industrial associations have blamed lack of proper policing arrangements for the violence.

Other affected areas in Noida are sectors 56, 57, 59, 60 67, 81, 82.

PAC has been deployed in the affected sectors and the situation has been brought under control.

Central trade unions have called a two-day nationwide strike in support of their various demands including urgent steps to control price rise, strict enforcement of labour laws in all places of work, social security net for workers in the unorganised sector, end to disinvestment in PSUs.

Bharat bandh: Banking, transport hit, commuters harried

The trade unions two-day strike across India has forced many businesses to shut down across the country and brought woe to commuters and in some instances led to violence, especially in Noida in Uttar Pradesh and Ambala in Haryana.

A trade union leader trying to stop a bus from plying was killed in Ambala as the two-day nationwide strike called by Central trade unions disrupted normal life in many states today and hit banking and transport sectors leaving commuters in the lurch.

In Haryana, bus driver Narender Singh, who was also the treasurer of AITUC, was killed when he tried to stop a bus which was being taken out from the Ambala Depot despite the strike, district president, Haryana Roadways Workers Union's, Inder Singh Bhadana said.

After the incident, other assembled workers resorted to violence damaging vehicles belonging to the Ambala's Deputy Commissioner of Police and SHO of the Baldev police station area, police said.

Earlier, AITUC General Secretary Gurudas Dasgupta said that the victim was allegedly stabbed to death by some persons who wanted to take out buses from the depot despite the strike.

Commuters in the national capital faced hardships as a section of auto-rickshaws and taxis remained off the road in support of the strike.

Although Metro services were not affected by the strike, bus services were partially hit by the strike as a number of bus unions, including a section of Delhi Transport Corporation employees, have also extended support to the strike.

Eleven central unions have called the strike to demand urgent steps to control price rise, strict enforcement of labour laws in all places of work, social security net for workers in the unorganised sector, end to disinvestment in PSUs and raising minimum wage to Rs 10,000.

The impact of the strike was felt on public transport services in Punjab and Haryana as majority of state owned buses plying on inter-state routes in the two states remained off the roads.

In Mahrashtra, the financial sector was hit as bank employees joined the strike.

"We have received massive response to our strike call as operations in banks and insurance companies came to a halt," All India Bank Employees Association Vice President Vishwas Uttagi claimed.

There was little impact of the two-day strike in West Bengal.Shops and markets were mostly open in Kolkata.Private buses and taxis were less, though state buses operated normally.

Barring blockades at Hasnabad and Diamond sections of the Eastern Railway, train services were normal in Howrah and Sealdah divisions.

The West Bengal government had warned employees against being absent during the strike.The state government has also asked shops and markets to remain open or face administrative action, including cancellation of trade licence.

In Odisha, commuters faced difficulties in many parts as buses, taxis and auto-rickshaws remained off the roads leaving a large number of passengers, including women and children, stranded at bus stands.

Shops, markets, business establishments, petrol pumps and restaurants remained closed and roads wore a deserted look with thin traffic, official sources said.

Banks remained closed with employees picketing and demonstrating at different places.

Train services were disrupted by protesters blocking tracks at many places including the state capital of Bhubaneswar, besides at Cuttack, Balasore, Khurda Road, Berhampur and Sambalpur, railway sources said.

Normal life was hit in Left Front-ruled Tripura due to the strike. Shops and markets were closed, as were schools, colleges, banks and financial institutions.

Private buses and taxis were off the roads and train service came to a standstill in the state.

CITU workers staged a dharna on the train lines at the Agartala railways station.

In Andhra Pradesh, personnel of various public sector organisations stayed away from work.

The employees of various public sector banks began protest at the Bank Street at Koti in Hyderabad as part of the strike.The leaders of the bank unions sit-out at the government's alleged attempts to dilute the public sector banking system.

The staff of the Andhra Pradesh State Road Transport Corporation (APSRTC) have also joined the strike in different parts of the state.

Barring stray incidents of stone pelting in Bellary, the nationwide strike called by 11 trade unions in support of their demands evoked a mixed response across Karnataka.

Sources said some persons pelted stones at some buses and blocked roads in Bellary while normal life was hit in Koppal, with buses, autorickshaws and other transport off the roads, officials said.

In Rajasthan, bank branches were closed and state roadways buses kept away from the roads.

Trade Union strike: Banking, transport sector hit in Gujarat

Ahmedabad: The strike call by Central trade unions hit normal life in Gujarat today as workers from varied sectors, including transport and banking, refrained from work, to register protest against government's economic and labour policies.

Banking services in Gujarat were crippled as over 12,000 officers and 35,000 other banking employees joined the nation wide strike call given by the United Forum for Bank Union (UFBU), impacting financial transactions of Rs 30,000 crore.

"All clearing house operations remained closed disrupting financial transactions (cheque clearance) to the tune of over Rs 30,000 crore across the state," General Secretary State Bank of India Officer Association (SBIOA) Ahmedabad Shankar Patel said.

SBI has over 1,100 branches across Gujarat, while 21 other nationalised banks are estimated to have 2,000 odd branches, he said, adding that nearly 12,000 bank officers and 35,000 other banking employees were on strike in Gujarat.

Patel claimed that a few private and co-operative sectors banks had also joined the two-day strike call. The banks employees took out a rally at Lal Darwaja and staged demonstration to register their protest.

However, the ATMs were operating as usual, he said.

"Employees of Gujarat State Road Transport Corporation (GSRTC) joined the strike call for 24 hours from yesterday night, as a result trips of around 8,000 buses have stopped in the state," said GSRTC secretary P D Patel.

Also, around 4,500 employees of LIC across the state have joined hands with the striking workers of banking and other public sector industry, said S I Bhatt, General Secretary LIC employees Union, Gujarat Division.

Many of them are sitting on a dharna at Lal Darwaja locality here, he claimed.

Strike call by trade unions evokes good response in UP

Lucknow: The two-day nationwide strike called by trade unions in support of their demands evoked a good response in Uttar Pradesh today.

Roadways buses remained off roads and bank branches were closed in support of the strike call, adversely affecting normal life since morning.

Reports from different parts of the state said employees of various government departments and banks assembled at their respective offices and held protest meetings raising slogans in support of their demands.

The state government had made alternative arrangements like pressing private buses into service, but these were not enough to clear the office rush and people had to depend either on private vehicles or autorickshaws to reach their destinations.

In the state capital, all the major offices have remained shut with employees also taking out protest marches.

Normal life hit by nation-wide strike in Assam

Guwahati: Normal life was affected in different parts of Assam today on the first day of the two-day nation-wide strike called by Central trade unions.

While buses operated by private owners kept off the roads across the state, city buses began to ply as the day progressed along with the state-run buses.

Shops were closed in most areas, official sources said.

Shared taxi trekker service and cycle-rickshaws though they joined the strike call were operating a skeleton service, the sources said.

The auto-rickshaw union, however, decided to ply their vehicles in consideration of the difficulties to be faced by students taking the ongoing high school and higher secondary school leaving examinations.

Banks remained closed with employees keeping away from their work place, they said.

Train services operated as per schedule, N-F Railway sources said.

Flights also took off and landed as usual at the Lokppriya Gopinath Bordoloi International Airport here and five other airports in the state, they added.

No untoward incident has been reported so far.

Bandh hits life in eastern India

Kolkata: Life was paralysed in Tripura and Bihar and affected in many places in Odisha, West Bengal and Assam on the first day today of the two-day strike by central trade unions.

Banking and related financial services were also hit badly in the states as employees joined the strike against the central government's economic policies.

In Left Front-ruled Tripura, shops and markets were closed, as were schools, colleges, banks and financial institutions.

Private buses and taxis were off the roads and train service came to a standstill in the state, though flight operations were normal.

CITU workers staged a dharna on the train lines at the Agartala railway station.

In Trinamool Congress ruled-West Bengal, life was partially affected with shops, markets and business establishments closed in many parts of the metropolis.

Government run buses and trams ran in large numbers in comparison to private buses and taxis, which were less.

Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, who is against the bandh and had warned government employees from remaining absent, said attendance at the state secretariat, Writers' Buildings, was 100 per cent.

Finance Minister Amit Mitra said that his department also registered 100 per cent attendance.

Many government employees stayed overnight in their offices.

Bandh supporters took out processions in some areas.

Commissioner of Kolkata Police Surajit Karpurakayastha was on the roads in the morning to review security.

"Everything is normal. There is enough police," he said.

Trains services in the Howrah and Sealdah divisions of Eastern Railway remained more or less normal, though there was some disruption in Sealdah South due to squatting by strike supporters in the morning, railway sources.

Metro Rail services in the metropolis was normal as also flights at the Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose International Airport.

In NDA-ruled Bihar, bandh supporters were seen forcing traders to down shutters as markets and business establishments remained closed.

Bandh supporters took the streets in Patna, Bhagalpur, Purnia, Nalanda, Jehanabad, Madhubani and elsewhere in the state and raised slogans against the Central government.

In Patna, private and government schools were shut as a precautionary measure.

Train and road traffic was also severely hit in several parts of the state as bandh supporters demonstrated on railway tracks.

In Congress-ruled Assam, long distance private buses were off the roads, though government buses ran, while shops were closed in many areas.

Auto-rickshaws came to the rescue of commuters hit by difficulties in transport and students appearing for the high school and higher secondary examinations.

Train services and flights were normal in the state.

In BJD-ruled Odisha, shops, markets, business establishments, petrol pumps and restaurants remained closed and roads wore a deserted look.

Banks remained closed with employees picketing and demonstrating at different places.

Train services were disrupted by protesters blocking tracks at many places including the state capital of Bhubaneswar, besides at Cuttack, Balasore, Khurda Road, Berhampur and Sambalpur, railway sources said.

Commuters faced difficulties as buses, taxis and autorickshaws remained off the roads leaving a large number of passengers, including women and children, stranded.

Normal life unaffected in Goa, though banks remain shut

Panaji: The situation remained normal in Goa even as industries were partially hit and nationalised banks remained closed as a part of two-day long nationwide strike call given by labour unions.

Over 2,000 workers took out a march today on the streets of Panaji, peacefully in support of the Central Trade Unions' various demands.

In Goa, the agitators protesting against the stoppage of mining activity also joined hands with the striking labour unions.

The situation remained peaceful and normal across the state and the public transport system ran normally.

The labour union attached to the state-run Kadamba Transport Corporation Limited (KTCL) resorted to strike, but the management pulled available resources to run the services.

"The labour union is on strike, but we have managed to run all the buses with the available staff. The services are not affected," KTCL Managing Director Deryk Natto said.

There was no attempt to disrupt the services, he added.

The nationalised banks remained closed while private banks did not pull down their shutters.

Goa Chamber of Commerce and Industries (GCCI) officials stated that the strike had affected the bigger units partially where the national-level labour unions were having their presence.

"The strike was peaceful there as the labour unions had served strike notices much in advance," he said, adding that the smaller units were not affected.

The schools and other establishments including markets in the main cities remained open.

MP: Strike affects banking operations, commercial activities

Bhopal: Banking, Insurance and other commercial activities in Madhya Pradesh were largely affected today due to the two-day nationwide shutdown called by trade unions against UPA's economic and anti-labour policies.

"As per our reports over one crore employees and workers belonging to organised and unorganised sectors are taking part in the two-day-long strike affecting banking, insurance, postal and other commercial activities," Trade Union Joint Front spokesman, Pushan Bhattacharya said.

Eleven central trade unions are supporting the bandh affecting work in public sector units like BHEL, BSNL, insurance companies and all nationalised banks, he said.

Citizens have been appealed to join the bandh on the second day, Bhattacharya said.

People from the unorganised sector including transport, mandi and anganwadi are also participating in the strike, he said.

Employees from the industrial sector are on strike today while Bhopal bandh will be called tomorrow, Bhattacharya said.

However, emergency services including hospitals and petrol pumps remained open.

Trade Unions have put forward a charter of 10 demands in front of the Central government and bank managements.

The demands include urgent steps to control price rise, strict enforcement of labour laws in all places of work, social security net for workers in the unorganised sector, stop disinvestment of PSUs and raising minimum wages.

The employees and officers of nationalised banks including Reserve Bank of India, State Bank of India, Central Bank of India, Punjab National Bank as well as 30 other banks are also on strike, he claimed.

Partial impact to strike call in TN

Chennai: The strike call given by 11 trade unions country wide had partial impact in Tamil Nadu as a majority of shops remained open and transport services plied normally.

However, banking services were hit hard as most public and private sector banks remained closed.

The United Form of Bank Unions, an association representing the banking community, had said it would join the strike call given by the Trade Unions.

City buses and auto-rickshaws plied as usual. Partial inter-city services were operated from Chennai Mofussil Bus Terminus, sources said.

Members of agitating workers union including CITU and all India Bank Employees Association staged a demonstration in Chennai as part of the strike call.

A report from Madurai said normal life was not affected in south Tamil Nadu, with shops and hotels remaining open and buses operating normal services and autorickshaws plying as usual. All central government offices functioned with a handful of officials, it said.

In Madurai city, the strike call paralysed working in central government establishments, including banks and Insurance companies.

Buses were operated from the city to other parts of Tamil Nadu, but not to Thiruvananthapuram and Kochi as they were stopped at the border.

In Tiruchirapalli, all workers at the ordnance factory stayed away from work, it said, adding work at Bharat Heavy Electricals was also paralysed due to the strike call.

Railway officials said train services were run on schedule.

Normal life hit in Bihar as two-day strike begins

Patna: Normal life was paralysed in Bihar today, the first day of the two-day strike called by the central trade unions, official sources said.

The market and business establishments remained shut at many places in Bihar even as the bandh supporters were seen forcing the traders to down shutters of their shops, they said.

The train and road traffic was also hit badly in several parts of the state as the bandh supporters waving red flags staged demonstration before the railway tracks, they said.

The banking and related financial services were also hit badly as their employees joined the two-day stir against the central government's economic policies, the sources said.

In Patna, the private and government schools have been closed for two days by the authorities as precautionary measure, they said.

A large number of bandh supporters took the streets in places like Patna, Bhagalpur, Purnia, Nalanda, Jehanabad, Madhubani and elsewhere in the state and raised slogans against the Central government, the sources said.

Strike evokes mixed reaction in Rajasthan

Jaipur: The two-day nationwide strike called by trade unions in support of their demands today evoked mixed reactions in Rajasthan.

People faced problems as banks branches are closed and state roadways buses are also not plying.

However, there was no significant impact on school buses and autorickshaws.

"6000 bank branches across the state are closed which would affect more than 3 lakh people. Checks worth Rs 3,000 crore will not be cleared in two days in the state," Mahesh Mishra, a representative of United Forum of Bank Unions said.

Mishra said that approximately 1500 ATMs in the state would run out of cash by evening.

20,000 state roadways employees are fully participating in the strike and not a single bus was operated today, General Secretary Rajasthan State Roadways Employees Union Dharmveer Chaudhary said.

"We have reports that operations in all the 52 depots are down. We have 4500 buses but none will run them for two days.

The strike from our side is successful," he claimed.

Despite the bandh call, many autorickshaws are plying on the city roads.

Autorickshaws are also plying in Jodhpur and Bhilwara.

Moinuddin Qureshi, treasurer of Lal Jhanda Auto Driver Union, which is one of the two unions of autorickshaw drivers, said that 70 per cent of auto drivers are participating in the strike.

The rest drivers are associating with the other union and running the vehicle.

Strike hits normal life in Kerala

Thiruvananthapuram: The 48-hour nationwide strike called by central trade unions hit normal life across Kerala today with workers from varied sectors, including transport and banking, staying away from work to protest the UPA government's economic and labour policies.

Early reports said buses and taxis were off the roads and shops and restaurants remained closed. Train services were not affected.

The Congress-led UDF government has declared 'dies non' (no work, no pay) as pro-Left service and teachers unions are also striking work.

Security has been tightened and no violence has been reported from anywhere. Police have offered protection to those willing to work and public conveyances ready to ply, police sources said.

Emergency services like health care, milk supply and media have been exempted from the strike, AITUC leader Kanam Rajendran said.

The unions have put forward a charter of 10 demands such as urgent steps to control price rise, strict enforcement of labour laws in all places of work, social security net for workers in the unorganised sector, end to disinvestment in PSUs and raising minimum wage to Rs 10,000 a month.

Apart from unions owing allegiance to the Left, the pro-Congress INTUC and pro-BJP BMS are also participating in the strike.

However, pro-UDF government service and teachers unions have not joined the strike.

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