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No major impact barring some stray incidents of violence in WB

Press Trust of India  |  Kolkata 

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

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.

However, PSU companies were closed.

Several protesters were arrested as sporadic incidents of vandalism were reported from parts of the state on Tuesday during the strike.

Stones were pelted at a school bus in Champadali area of Barasat in North 24 district. The students were later deboarded from the bus, police said.

Strike supporters burnt effigies of and burnt tyres in various parts of the state including Kolkata.

In Howrah, Siliguri, Bardhaman, Birbhum, North and South 24 Paraganas, clashes broke out between Trinamool Congress workers and strike supporters as TMC activists tried to stop them from forcibly imposing the strike.

Despite these scattered incidents of violence, normal life in and around Kolkata and other parts of the state remained more or less unaffected by the strike call except in a few pockets.

Buses and other modes of transport were seen on the roads although the number of passengers were less than in other week days.

in the South Eastern railway were affected from 6.30 am due to blockades at different stations and several express and local trains were delayed, SER said.

In Eastern Railway zone, train movement was obstructed by the strike supporters from 6.00 am, an said.

Several trains, including Howrah-Puri Dhauli Express, Rupashi Bangla Express, Howrah-Barbil Janshatabdi Express, Paradip-Santragachi Express, Puri-Howrah Jagannath Express and Thiruvananthapuram-Silchar Express and several MEMU and EMU locals were delayed en route owing to the agitation.

Agitators blocked tracks at Bainchi, Mankundu, Mogra stations in Howrah-Bardhaman main line section, at Jadavpur, Dhamuah, Hotor in section, at Barasat, Madhyamgram and Ashoknagar in Sealdah-Bongaon section, the said.

Operation of flights by different airlines was normal at here, officials at the airport said.

Tyres were burnt in Central Avenue of Kolkata to stop buses from plying in the roads. The protesters had a scuffle with the police when they tried to stop them from squatting on the roads.

A government bus was damaged by strike supporters at Champadali. Protesters also vandalised a bus at Jamuria in district.

Scuffles were witnessed between police and strike supporters in some areas of the state.

At Jadavpur area in south Kolkata, senior CPI(M) leader along with several other strike supporters were detained by the police.

CPI(M) leaders have come out on the streets in support of the strike.

The government in the state has opposed the strike call.

Ten Central trade unions who have called the strike have placed a charter of demands that include minimum wage, universal social security, workers status and including pay and facilities for the scheme workers, against privatisation of public and government organisations.

The had announced that its employees would be barred from availing casual leave or half day leave on Tuesday and Wednesday.

No leave will also be allowed on the day preceding the two-day strike or following it, a government notification said on Friday.

The claimed that the first day of general strike has been successful despite attempts by the to foil it.

"Despite attempts by the to foil the strike, it has been quite successful on the first day. The role played by TMC is shameful and it has been proved that both the BJP and TMC have a tacit understanding," he said.

Biman Bose, however, said that the nationwide strike would continue for the second day Wednesday and with a different strategy to make it more successful.

The Trinamool Congress, however claimed that the strike has been a complete failure as people have rejected the "shutdown culture".

"The strike has been a complete failure as people have completely rejected the shutdown culture. We are also fighting against BJP but we are not in favour of shutdown or strike as a mode of protest," general and state Education minister said.

said the people of the state has "completely rejected" the strike as it has been called by political parties who are just looking for desperate attempts to make their presence felt.

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

First Published: Tue, January 08 2019. 16:40 IST