Public transport and banking services were hit in Haryana due to the day-long strike called by major trade unions against the “anti-labour” policies of the Centre on Tuesday.
The employees are demanding guarantee of labour rights, end to the contract labour system, bringing workers in the unorganised sector under the social security net and pension benefit for all workers.
The major impact of the strike was felt on public transport sector of the state where 40-50% of 3,500-fleet of state-owned roadways buses remained off the road.
300 held in Bhiwani
Bhiwani: Over 300 protesters, including women, marching peacefully in the city were arrested from different places of the district.
On the orders of district superintendent of police B Satish Balan, nearly 170 protestors were held from the Bhiwani bus stand at 5am, while another 150 were detained from the Rohtak Gate at 2pm.
Prior to the strike, the district administration had imposed Section 144 in the city.
The police had on Monday arrested five leaders of the Haryana Roadways, who were supporting the strike. Akhil Bharatiya Kisan Mahasabha district president Sher Singh said, “By arresting our five leaders a day before the strike, the police have suppressed our democratic right to protest.”
Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPM) state secretary Inderjeet Singh told Hindustan Times that the strike remained successful throughout the state.
Passengers’ pain, pvt players’ gain
KARNAL: A group of protesting employees staged a rally near railway track in Panipat and unsuccessfully tried to disrupt the traffic on the Ambala-Delhi junction.
Teaching at Kurukshetra University (KU) was partially hit, while non-teaching employees of the university didn’t join their duties. Field staff of the state power corporations did not attend to the complaints.
There are reports of protest rallies from adjoining districts of Panipat, Sonepat and Jind.
With Haryana Roadways buses remaining off the roads, passengers were among the worst hit.
There were reports of hordes of passengers waiting for buses to their desired locations at bus stands across the state. Private bus operators made the most of the situation by overcharging from the passengers and overloading.
An exporter from Panipat said that due to the strike of the bank employees, the business community suffered heavy losses.
Lukewarm response in Sirsa
SIRSA: The call of strike by major trade unions against the Central government policies of privitisation and liberalisation evoked a lukewarm response in the district. Commuters were put to inconvenience, as long route buses did not ply.
To avert any untoward situation, police forces were deployed at various places. Sirsa transport manager Ram Kumar said, “The strike in Sirsa was a symbolic one. Buses on local routes plied whereas long-route buses remained off the road.”
Yamunanagar no different
Yamunanagar: Angered over the pension reforms, hundreds of workers from the Haryana Roadways, Nagar Nigam, national banks, power corporations and education department suspended work here.
The protesters were led by Amar Singh and Kashmiri Lal, members the Joint Action Committee, Haryana Roadways.
The striking employees gathered in front of the roadways workshop from around 3am and remained there till the evening. “We managed to ply a couple of buses with tight security arrangements,” said Satbir Mann, general manager, roadways.
Banking sector takes a beating
Ambala: Responding to the nationwide bandh call of the All-India Trade Congress’, the work came to a standstill in all central government offices and banks here.
The departments in which the work was hit included income tax, insurance, military engineering works, posts and telegraphs, central ground water board, central excise and customs, national sample survey and telecom.
However, the strike didn’t affect transport and power supply. Several unions affiliated with the Sarva Haryana Karamchari Sangh joined the strike and held a demonstration and handed over a memorandum to the additional deputy commissioner.
Federation of Indian Banks Employees’ Union spokesperson VK Sharma claimed that the strike was total in banks. Bank employees took out a protest march through the main markets before converging near Indian Bank at Rai Market.
Private sector banks, however, didn’t join the strike. Sources claimed that the government suffered a loss to the tune of Rs 100 crore due to the strike.
RAF parades in Hisar
Hisar: Banks in the district remain closed due to the nationwide strike. The strike crippled the state roadways bus service. The trade unions and activists of the All-India State Government Employees’ Federation took out a rally. The jawans of the Rapid Action Force (RAF) paraded in the town.
(with inputs from PTI)