The first day of the two-day nationwide strike called by trade unions claimed a life in Ambala. A trade union leader died on Wednesday after being hit by a bus he was trying to stop from plying.
Narinder Singh, 55, was the treasurer of the All India Trade Union Congress and a Haryana Roadways driver. He came under the wheels of the bus at the Ambala depot early in the morning.
Following the mishap, workers went on rampage and damaged vehicles. The mob also gheraoed deputy commissioner of police Ashok Kumar, Roadways general manager Bhawanarjeet Singh and the city magistrate. Later, the police resorted to lathicharge — which injured a dozen people — to disperse the crowd that had blocked a bridge near national highway 1. Seven policemen were injured in the retaliatory stone pelting.
Ban political parties that call bandhs, says Mamata
The success of the Left-backed trade union strike in West Bengal on Wednesday has pushed chief minister Mamata Banerjee to think of drastic measures. Banerjee, who in her days in the opposition, created mayhem with regular strike calls, has decided to urge the Election Commission to ban political parties that call bandhs.
“Bandhs serve no purpose other than inflicting economic losses and triggering violence. It seems some political parties have developed a quota of bandhs every year,” she said
Strike total in Kerala
The strike was almost total in Kerala. The Congress-led Oommen Chandy government’s “no work, no pay” threat fell on deaf ears. Banking, telecom, insurance and postal services were hit. Educational institutions and business establishments remained closed and most people stayed indoors.
Strike paralyses Bihar
Normal life was hit in Bihar as trade union activists strike took to the streets in droves. Altogether, 53 trains were stopped across Bihar and Jharkhand. In Patna, road traffic was disrupted. The strike in banks was near total. Shutters of ATMs were downed. All schools in Patna remained closed.