The nationwide strike by trade unions turned violent in Noida where workers went on the rampage and damaged industrial property worth R1,000 crore. Many industrialists were seriously injured in the violence, the police said.
According to the Noida Entrepreneurs Association, protesters looted over 300 industrial units and vandalized or burnt about 150 vehicles. The association said a factory complex in an industrial sector was set ablaze.
Protesters pelted stones on factories and outlets in sectors 81, 82 and 84 of Greater Noida as well.
“Many buildings were damaged in stone pelting. When private security guards tried to pacify the mobs, they attacked them also,” said a police officer.Although fear was palpable among industrialists, they refused to keep their units shut on the second day of Bharat Bandh on Thursday.
“We faced severe losses because of unwanted taxes, power crisis and anti-industry attitude of the government in the region. We do not support the bandh and condemn the attack on our units,” said Sudhir Shrivastav, secretary of the association.Industrialists said the Gautam Budh Nagar district administration and UP Police did precious little to maintain law and order or ensure safety to industrialists and their units.
“We sought security from the police a day before the bandh, as we had apprehended violence. The police did not even reach the spot even two hours after informing them,” said Shrivastav. The PAC was deployed in the affected sectors and the situation was brought under control, said district administration officials.
“There was no police presence in industrial areas even after vandalism started at 11am in Sector 63,” alleged MS Saxena, an industrialist.
Car market leader Maruti Suzuki India (MSI) and two-wheeler major Hero MotoCorp have declared holiday at their plants in Gurgaon-Manesar on Thursday.