A trade union leader died here on Wednesday after being run over by a bus he was trying to stop from plying on the first day of the two-day nationwide strike called by the central trade unions.
Narinder Singh, 55, treasurer of All India Trade Union Congress (AITUC) and a Haryana Roadways driver, was killed on the spot when an Ambala depot bus was on its way out of the workshop early in the morning.
Later, the police resorted to cane-charge to disperse the striking roadways employees who blocked the Janadali Bridge near national highway No 1 to protest against the death of their colleague. Over a dozen persons, including two journalists, suffered injuries in the cane charge. Seven policemen were also injured as the employees pelted the police with stones.
Locals said the driver was run over by the bus when a group of employees who were protesting outside the depot opposed the plying of the bus.
They said the workers had started assembling at the gates since 4am and the bus escorted by the administration was coming out at 5am.
Sources said that following the mishap, the workers went on the rampage and damaged the vehicles of deputy commissioner of police (DCP) Ashok Kumar and Baldev Nagar SHO Pawan Kumar.
They said the mob also interned the DCP, roadways general manager Bhanwarjeet Singh and city magistrate Pratima Chaudhary in a room and officers had to flee for their lives, adding that the mob also ransacked the depot office.
Later, demanding the registration of a murder case against the DCP and the GM, they reached Baldev Nagar police station.
The agitated workers marched towards national highway No 1 to organise a blockade and shouting anti-police and anti-administration slogans they squatted on the bridge following which the traffic on the national highway was thrown out of gear.
A large police contingent reached the spot and resorted to cane charge when the protesters did not disperse despite a warning.
Roadways Workers Union district president Inder Singh Bhadana and another leader Jaivir Singh asserted that despite the bandh call the administration tried to take out the bus from the depot.
In a statement, police commissioner Rajbir Deswal, who reached the spot, said that prima facie the death of the employee appeared to be an accident, adding that an inquiry would be held.
He said pelting the police vehicles with stones was uncalled for, adding that the police had made elaborate security arrangements in the district.
Meanwhile, the administration has announced Rs 5-lakh compensation to the family of the deceased.