All banking operations were paralysed in the country's financial capital on Wednesday, following a strike by various banking employees and officers unions, officials said here. Bank staffers responded enthusiastically to the nationwide strike call for various demands issued by the United Forum of Bank Unions (UBFU). The UBFU claimed "100 per cent participation" by the employees and officers from all public sector, old generation private sector and some foreign banks in the strike. In the afternoon, over 5,000 bank staffers staged a rally at Azad Maidan and raised slogans opposing the proposed mergers of Bank Of Baroda, Dena Bank and Vijaya Bank by the government. "Each public sector bank has its own history, geography and culture in the background. If the government bulldozes the decision of the merger, it will put their customers to great hardships," said UBFU leaders who addressed the rally. Read Also| Pakistan's former lawmaker Syed Ali Raza Abidi shot dead in Karachi They criticised the proposed mergers and urged the government to focus on the recovery of huge non-performing assets from big corporates to save the (banking) industry from collapsing instead of resorting to such mergers. Top banking industry leaders heading different employees and officers unions like Narendra Kothiwala, Subhas Sawant, Mathaprasad Tripathi, K.K. Nair, Devidas Tuljapurkar, Yogesh Bidkar and others addressed the gathering, and warned of intensification of the agitation if the government remains adamant on its stance. Tuljapurkar added that all union representatives will hold a meeting shortly to decide the future course of action.