Bharat bandh highlights: Stray incidents of violence mar day 1 of workers strike
Bharat bandh highlights: Central trade unions have launched a two-day nationwide strike in protest against the government’s ‘anti-worker policies’. The trade unions are demanding minimum wages and social security schemes, among others. Follow live updates...
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Central trade unions have launched a two-day nationwide strike in protest against the government’s ‘anti-worker policies’. The trade unions are demanding minimum wages and social security schemes, among others.
The major trade unions on strike include INTUC, AITUC and CITU, among others. RSS-affiliated Bharatiya Mazdoor Sangh or BMS is not participating in the strike.
Trade unions strike evokes mixed response on Day 1, complete bandh in Kerala
The strike by 10 central trade unions evoked a mixed response on Tuesday as five states, including Kerala, Odisha and Assam, witnessed complete bandh while sporadic incidents of violence were reported in West Bengal and Rajasthan.
Central trade unions, except RSS-affiliate Bharatiya Mazdoor Sangh, launched the two-day nationwide strike Tuesday to protest against proposed labour reforms and worker policies of the BJP-led government. The bandh partly affected the public life in most of the states and Union Territories.
Active participation of workers indicates extent of anger against govt: Centre of Indian Trade Union
The expanse and active participation of workers in the two-day strike which began Tuesday is a clear indication of the extent of their anger and resentment against the policies of the government, the CITU said.
It said that around 20 crore workers from all sectors of the economy have participated in the strike across the country. The strike would continue on January 9.
“The unprecedented expanse and active participation of the workers in the two-day strike is a clear indication of the extent of anger and resentment of the workers against the neo-liberal policies and the attacks on their working and living conditions perpetrated by the government’s policies,” said the Centre of Indian Trade Union (CITU) in a statement.
No major impact barring some stray incidents of violence reported in West Bengal
Barring some stray incidents of violence on Tuesday, the two-day nationwide strike called by central trade unions protesting against ‘anti-people’ policies of the centre failed to evoke much response in West Bengal.
Elaborate security arrangements made by the Trinamool Congres government foiled the striking unions’ bid to stall the normal life in the state.
Government offices, IT sector and port activities were normal, while banking sector experienced partial impact with some branches and ATMs closed. Workers in tea gardens also worked like normal days.
Trade unions strike evokes mixed response in C’garh
Banking and postal services were partially affected in Chhattisgarh on Tuesday as the Central Trade Unions went on a two-day nationwide strike against the government’s alleged anti-worker policies and unilateral labour reforms.
Employees of some of the major banks, insurance companies and post offices joined the strike, which evoked a mixed response in the state.
Protesters burn tyres in Guwahati
Strike supporters burn tyres in Guwahati.
Trade union leaders assure of peaceful protests in Kerala
Trade union leaders had earlier said they would not force closure of shops. The Kerala Vyapari Vyavasayi Ekopana Samithi has said it would keep its commercial establishments open.
Shops open in Thiruvananthapuram
Shops at many places in Thiruvananthapuram are open and the popular ‘Mittayi Theruvu’ (sweet street) in Kozhikode is buzzing.
Private buses off Kerala roads
Sabarimala pilgrims at base camp Nilackal complain that they have been waiting for hours to reach the hill shrine. Private buses are keeping off roads.
KSRTC plying buses to Pamba for Sabarimala pilgrims
To ensure that Sabarimala pilgrims are not affected by the strike, the Kerala State Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC) has been operating buses from various destinations to Pamba, the foothills of the Sabarimala temple. However, KSRTC buses are not plying on other routes.
Sabarimala pilgrims exempted from strike in Kerala
Sabarimala pilgrims, tourists, social and religious functions have been exempted from the strike in Kerala.
Trains stopped in Kerala
In Kerala, trains were stopped at Thiruvananthapuram, Tripunithura and Shoranur railway stations. Venad Express, which runs from Thiruvananthapuram to Shoranur Junction daily, was delayed by more than one hour as agitators squatted on tracks. Other trains stopped were the Jan Shatabdi and Raptisagar Express.
Political parties in Odisha extend support to strike
Different political parties in Odisha, including the ruling BJD and its trade union front Biju Sramika Samukhya, have extended support to the strike.
Educational institutions shut in Odisha
Educational institutions, including schools, colleges and universities remained shut in view of the strike. A notification in this regard was issued by the state government on Monday, an official said.
Demonstrations in Paradip
In the port town of Paradip in Odisha, activists staged a demonstration near five gates of the port and blocked the road leading to the IOCL refinery at Rangiagarh, police said.
Roads blocked in Bhubaneswar and Cuttack
In Bhubaneswar, trade union activists staged picketing and road blockade by burning tyres at several places and busy thoroughfares. They held a sit-in at Master Canteen Square. In Cuttack, activists picketed and blocked roads at various places, besides staging a rail roko at the railway station.
Vehicular movement comes to a halt in Odisha
Shops, markets, business establishments, educational institutions and offices remained closed in Odisha, while vehicular movement virtually came to a grinding halt across the state. Roads wore a deserted look with vehicles, including government and private buses, refraining from playing, while a large number of passengers were seen stranded in bus stands in many places.
Train services hit in Odisha
Train services were hit in Odisha as trade union activists staged rail roko at many places including Bhubaneswar, Cuttack, Puri, Balasore, Jaleswar, Bhadrak, Sambalpur, Berhampur and Paradip, police said.
Over a dozen trains were delayed due to blockade of railway tracks by strike supporters, leaving a large number of passengers stranded at many places, they said.
Schools shut in many Karnataka districts
In many districts of Karnataka, holiday was declared in schools and colleges, with examinations being postponed. There were complaints about auto drivers charging exorbitant fares. Hotels, shops and establishments such as malls and film theatres functioned as usual.
Mixed response in Karnataka
While buses of the Karnataka State Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC) stayed off the roads in most parts of the state, causing inconvenience to the people travelling to distant places, private buses, auto, taxi and metro services were available as usual.
People foiled the strike: TMC
“The strike has been foiled by people. It is a tactic of bandh supporters to create disturbances at a few spots and claim that the entire state has been paralysed,” said Trinamool Congress secretary general and West Bengal education minister Partha Chatterjee.
Clashes between Left and TMC workers in Bengal
In West Bengal, clashes between supporters of the ruling Trinamool Congress and opposition CPI(M) were reported from Sodepur, Asansol and Jamuria. The clashes reportedly broke out as CPI(M) workers tried to enforce the strike, after which TMC supporters confronted them.
Police indulged in excesses: CPI(M)
“Police indulged in excesses. They arrested our workers even when they were standing on the pavement and were yet to start any agitation,” said CPI(M) central committee member Rabin Deb, adding that West Bengal and Kerala were the two states where the effects of the bandh were the most prominent.
WATCH | CPI(M), Trinamool Congress workers clash in Bengal
Operations in SBI and private banks unaffected
All India Bank Employees’ Association (AIBEA) and Bank Employees’ Federation of India (BEFI) are supporting the strike, which has impacted banking operations where these two unions are strong. Operations in SBI and private banks remain unaffected as seven other bank unions are not part of the strike.
Banking operations partially affected
Banking operations affected in some parts of the country as a section of employees refrained from work in support of the strike, reports PTI.
Mixed response in tea plantations
There was mixed response in the tea plantations.
“Of the 87 tea gardens in Darjeeling hills, 30 are closed. Most of the closed gardens are in Mirik valley,” said Saman Pathak, former Rajya Sabha MP from the CPI(M) and Darjeeling district chief of CITU.
Protesters take out rally in Bengal’s Siliguri
In Siliguri, West Bengal’s second largest city, protesters organised a big procession. But the trading hub in the city was open, though roads had fewer vehicles compared to a normal working day.
Roads, railway tracks blocked in Kolkata’s Jadavpur
Jadavpur in south Kolkata became a major flashpoint for strike supporters. While some agitators blocked railway tracks at Jadavpur railway station, others blocked the arterial Raja Subodh Chandra Mallick Road about 300 metres away. Rapid Action Force personnel were deployed to disperse the agitators at the station.
SFI activists stage protest
Members of Students’ Federation of India (SFI) stage agitation at the gates of Presidency University in Kolkata.
JNU students’ unions support strike
AITUC general secretary Amarjeet Kaur tells PTI that Jawaharlal Nehru University students’ unions have expressed solidarity.
Strike successful in industrial areas: AITUC
“The strike is quite visible in Assam, Meghalaya, Karnataka, Manipur, Bihar, Rajasthan, Goa, Punjab, Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh and Haryana — particularly in the targeted industrial areas and different mines,” Amarjeet Kaur, general secretary of All India Trade Union Congress (AITUC), tells PTI.
Additional buses on Bengal roads
West Bengal transport minister Suvendu Adhikari had said the government would ensure 500 additional buses on the roads to counter the bandh.
Mamata says won’t allow disruption of normal life
West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee had said that though the Trinamool Congress opposes the policies of the central government that the strike is supposed to protest, the state government is against bandhs and she would not allow disruption of normal life.
Congress provides ‘moral support’ for strike
West Bengal Congress president Somen Mitra announced earlier that they had moral support for the strike. The BJP opposed the bandh.
Clashes in Bengal
Clashes break out between Trinamool Congress and CPI(M) workers in Bengal’s Asansol.
West Bengal: Clash between TMC and CPM workers in Asansol during 48-hour nationwide strike called by Central Trade Unions demanding minimum wages, social security schemes & against privatisation of public and government sector. pic.twitter.com/5oM6TWxnx7— ANI (@ANI) January 8, 2019
Rallies in Kerala
Protesters take out rallies in Kochi and Trivandrum in Kerala.
#Kerala: 48-hour nationwide strike called by Central Trade Unions demanding minimum wages, social security schemes & against privatisation of public and government sector; Visuals from Kochi (pic1&2) and Trivandrum (pic 3) pic.twitter.com/cuKkicTzJW— ANI (@ANI) January 8, 2019
Traffic hit in Bhubaneswar
Traffic movement affected on NH-16 due to protest by central trade unions in Bhubaneswar.
Odisha: Traffic movement affected on National Highway 16 due to protest by Central Trade Unions in Bhubaneswar. Their demands include minimum wages and social security among others., pic.twitter.com/chGKdZk3x3— ANI (@ANI) January 8, 2019
Most schools open in Kolkata
Traffic normal on NH-2 connecting Kolkata and Delhi. In Kolkata, most schools are open and attendance near normal.
Protests in New Delhi
All India Central Council of Trade Unions (AICCTU) members hold protest in Patparganj industrial area in New Delhi against privatisation of public and government sector and demanding minimum wages, social security, among others.
Delhi: All India Central Council of Trade Unions (AICCTU) members hold protest in Patparganj industrial area against privatisation of public and government sector and demanding minimum wages, social security among others pic.twitter.com/jbfilCAwYN— ANI (@ANI) January 8, 2019
School bus attacked, driver beaten up in Bengal
Scuffles broke out between police and protesters in West Bengal’s Asansol. In Barasat, a school bus was attacked and the driver beaten up.
Protesters block trains in Bengal
Protests underway at Rupsa, Jaleswar and Datan in Bhadrak-Kharagpur railway section and Raghunathbari in Haldia railway section, reports news agency ANI.
CPI(M) leader Sujan Chakraborty detained in Bengal
Police detain leader of the CPI(M) in state assembly Sujan Chakraborty and several Left workers after he led a procession of protesters in south Kolkata’s Jadavpur and blocked an arterial road.
Bus driver sports helmet fearing attack
Buddhadev Bakshi, a driver of Calcutta State Transport Corporation (CSTC), sports a helmet given by the department fearing attacks during the two-day Bharat Bandh called by central trade unions, in Kolkata.
Protesters block trains, throw banana leaves on overhead wires
Train services came to a halt in West Bengal’s Madhyamgram, Hasnabad-Bongaon, Krishnagar, Duttapukur and Lakshmikantapur. At Sodepur in North 24 Parganas district, protesters threw banana leaves on overhead wires to disrupt train movement. Trains were also blocked in Samudragarh station of East Burdwan district.
Police lathicharge protesters in Bengal
Police resort to lathi charge in Srirampore in Hooghly district of West Bengal as protesters try to remove roadblocks. Scuffles broke out in Barasat and Belgharia in North 24 Parganas district as well. Protesters also vandalised a bus at Garia in the south fringes of Kolkata.
Protests in Karnataka
Protesters take out rally in Hubli, Karnataka.
#Karnataka: 48-hour nationwide strike called by Central Trade Unions demanding minimum wages, social security schemes & against privatisation of public and government sector; Visuals from Hubli pic.twitter.com/Gr6so1MwTJ— ANI (@ANI) January 8, 2019
Police detain CPI(M) workers in Kolkata
Police in Kolkata, West Bengal, detain CPI(M) workers protesting in support of the 48-hour nationwide strike called by central trade unions.
West Bengal: Police in Kolkata detain CPM workers protesting in support of 48-hour nationwide strike called by Central Trade Unions. Their demands include minimum wages and social security schemes among others. pic.twitter.com/Bub5airQ1Y— ANI (@ANI) January 8, 2019
Protesters block roads in Bhubaneswar
Members of central trade unions hold protests and block commuters in Bhubaneswar, Odisha, demanding minimum wages and social security schemes, among others.
Odisha: Members of Central Trade Unions hold protests & block commuters in Bhubaneswar demanding minimum wages and social security schemes among others. Central Trade Unions have called a 48-hour nationwide strike over several demands. pic.twitter.com/5LgEWntTEQ— ANI (@ANI) January 8, 2019
Protesters block railway line in Howrah
Members of central trade unions block railway line in Howrah, West Bengal, demanding minimum wages and social security schemes, among others.
West Bengal: Members of Central Trade Unions block railway line in Howrah demanding minimum wages and social security schemes among others. Central Trade Unions have called a 48-hour nationwide strike over several demands. pic.twitter.com/o4FvWpFWdK— ANI (@ANI) January 8, 2019
Protesters block train in Assam
Central trade unions have called for a two-day nationwide strike demanding minimum wages and social security schemes, among others.
Assam: Central Trade Unions have called a two-day nationwide strike demanding minimum wages and social security schemes among others; Visuals from Guwahati pic.twitter.com/vbcQfCKk9m— ANI (@ANI) January 8, 2019