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Day 2: Airport agitators spit fire

ON THE second day of agitation, airport employees took out a mock funeral procession of Union Minister for Civil Aviation Praful Patel. They raised slogans against Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and chairperson of UPA Sonia Gandhi at the airport premises on Thursday. The agitating employees were joined by other trade unions from banks, LIC and the CITU.

india Updated: Feb 03, 2006 01:17 IST

ON THE second day of agitation, airport employees took out a mock funeral procession of Union Minister for Civil Aviation Praful Patel. They raised slogans against Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and chairperson of UPA Sonia Gandhi at the airport premises on Thursday. The agitating employees were joined by other trade unions from banks, LIC and the CITU.

The employees in large numbers gathered on the premises of the Amausi airport. Their ire against Patel could be gauged from the fact that one of the employees got his head tonsured. The mock funeral procession then marched to the main side of the airport. After about a couple of hour of demonstration, the employees ‘cremated’ the effigy of the minister and battered it.

In view of the agitation, the airport authorities made an extensive security arrangement to prevent any untoward incident. However, the flight operation remained unaffected as Air Traffic Controllers did not join the strike. IAF officials have been assisting the ATCs in operating flights.

Taufiq Ahmad of Airport Authority Employees’ Joint Forum warned that the agitation would hamper flight operations if the government continued with its policy of selling public sector units to the private sector. He accused the Centre of cheating the masses by selling the public sector units to the private owners. Passengers were facing a lot of inconvenience owing to lack of cleaning activity.

Airport director Ravi Prakash claimed that flights were being successfully operated, whereas the Forum maintained that international standards were being violated.

Others who assured support to the striking workers were Arjun Prasad of Bank Employees’ Federation of India, Ramdev Tiwari of Kisan Sabha, Madhu Garg and Reena Choudhary of the Janwadi Mahila Samiti, A B Indra of CITU and Vasudev Pandey of AITUC.

First Published: Feb 03, 2006 01:17 IST