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Trade strike partially hits normal life (Bengal Roundup)

IANS  |  Kolkata 

Normal life was partially hit in on Tuesday as sporadic incidents of vandalism and disruptions were reported from various areas during the central trade unions' 48-hour nationwide strike in protest against the "pro-corporate, anti-national and anti-people" policies of the government.

While the leaders of the trade unions and state's left parties termed the strike as successful and claimed the scenes would be repeated across the state even on Wednesday, state's ruling Trinamool dubbed the impact of the trade strike as "negligible".

Public transport was disrupted for some time as strike supporters put up rail and road blockades at various places since morning.

A number of senior Left leaders including CPI-M's Sujan Chakraborty and were detained while picketing in Kolkata.

They were released later.

The state Left leadership accused the Trinamool government of indirectly supporting the Central government's activities by opposing the strike here and claimed that the Trinamool and the have a secret understanding.

"The Trinamool government in Bengal would not allow any protest against the Modi government's anti-people policies. The Trinamool and the BJP make a public show of opposing each other, but they help each other covertly. The is backing the atrocities of the by opposing the strike," claimed.

He also accused the police of deliberately beating up prominent Left leaders before arresting them to terrorise the strike supporters and common people.

were disrupted both in divisions of the Eastern Railway and South Eastern Railway.

Strike supporters put up blockades at a number of stations in East and West Bardhaman, Birbhum, Hoogly, 24 Parganas districts and obstructed train movement.

In Kolkata, many public and private buses were seen plying on the roads. The strike supporters ransacked a number of buses and trucks and demonstrated on busy city streets including the Central Avenue by torching tyres.

A group of Indian National Trade Union Congress (INTUC) activists, who lent moral support to the trade strike, demonstrated inside an underground Metro rail station in the Maidan area, temporarily disrupting the services.

Despite the strike, the offices and institutions in the state functioned normally. The attendance at the state secretariat Nabanna was around 92 per cent till 12 p.m. Percentage of attendance in state-run schools and colleges was also significantly high.

CITU state called the strike successful on the first day and vowed to hold full-fledged strike even on Wednesday.

"According to our reports, all major industries including mining, and jute, and and postal and telecom departments were significantly impacted by the trade strike. Workers, labours and common people have spontaneously participated in the strike. Our programmes will continue tomorrow (Wednesday) as well," Mukherjee told IANS.

termed the strike as irrelevant and said the party is against any form of strike which leads to wastage of man hours.

"There are hardly 100-200 people in their rallies. It is irrelevant. Their leaders are intentionally engaging in scuffles with the police to get arrested," Chatterjee said.

"We want protests against the Centre but holding strike is not the right way. There were so many strikes during the 34 years of Left rule in Bengal that it has lost significance among people. We opposed the culture of strike even when we were in the opposition," he claimed.

and state Food and declared his party will oppose the strike on Wednesday "in a more organised manner" and said anybody trying to impose the strike will be beaten up.

Over 10,000 police personnel were deployed in the city along with an additional force of 5,000 to prevent any untoward incident.

The state BJP leadership claimed that common people have rejected the strike and accused the of supplying oxygen to the left parties in Bengal.

"All the major roads were functional and there were enough buses and other modes of public transport available. In some places some left leaders and activists are creating commotion. Trinamool is deliberately trying to supply oxygen, so that CPI-M can revive in the state," said.



(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Tue, January 08 2019. 18:52 IST