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Bharat Bandh Day 2: Violence in West Bengal, rail blockades witnessed in many states

The Shutdown Also Saw A Partial Disruption Of Banking And Insurance Services Across The Country.

News Nation Bureau | Edited By : Aniruddha Dhar | Updated on: 09 Jan 2019, 09:12:28 PM
CPM leader Sujan Chakraborty being detained by police during the two-day nationwide strike in Kolkata. (CPIM)

New Delhi:

The second day of Bharat Bandh (nationwide strike) called by the 10 trade unions against the Central government’s policies on Wednesday witnessed sporadic incidents of violence in West Bengal and Kerala, while trains services were disrupted in certain states. The bandh also saw a partial disruption of banking and insurance services across the country. Other sectors like mining, road transport, power supply too bore the brunt of strike. The trade unions had given a call for a two-day Bharat Bandh on January 8 and 9.

Here’s what happened on Day 2 of Bharat Bandh:

# West Bengal: Stray incidents of violence were reported from various parts of West Bengal Wednesday. Stones were pelted at school buses in Howrah district. Similar incidents were reported on Tuesday as well. There were similar incidents of stone pelting in other parts of the state too.

# Kerala: A treasury branch of the State Bank of India in Thiruvananthapuram was attacked and trains were blocked in various parts of state on the second day of strike. At the Thiruvananthapuram railway station, Thiruvananthapuram-Hyderabad Sabari Express and Venad Express were stopped, while the Kottayam-Nilambur passenger train in Kalamassery was held up for a while. At many places in Kerala, shops and commercial establishments remained shut, and buses and auto-rickshaws were also off roads in the state.

# Tamil Nadu: Trains were stopped by protesters at a few places in Tamil Nadu and banking services in some public sector banks interrupted in Telangana but life largely remained unaffected.

# Goa: Some impact of the strike was seen in Goa as private buses and tourist taxis remained off roads. Long queues of passengers were seen at various bus stands after the private buses association in the state shut operations.

# Maharashtra : In Mumbai, lakhs of commuters faced hardships as an indefinite strike called by BEST, the city's civic transport undertaking, continued. There were only five buses plying on city roads. More than 32,000 BEST employees went on an indefinite strike on Tuesday over various demands, including higher salaries.

# Karnataka: Causing severe inconvenience to commuters in Bengaluru, hundreds of protesters from the Left trade unions disrupted bus services at Majestic, the Central Bus Stand. The Karnataka State Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC) buses also remained stationed in their respective depots across the state as protesters damaged the vehicles.

# Odisha: In Odisha, train services were hit on the second day of the strike as trade union activists staged 'rail roko' at several places including Bhubaneswar, Balasore and Berhampur.  Several trains were delayed due to blockade of railway tracks by strike supporters, leaving a large number of passengers stranded at many places.

# Notheast: Hind Mazdoor Sabha general secretary Harbhajan Singh Sidhu said there is 100 per cent strike in Assam, Manipur and Meghalaya, and mining activity was almost stopped across the country.

# Train services:  Train services in Eastern Railway zone were disrupted after supporters of the Bandh resorted to blockades at many places. A suspected bomb was found on the railway tracks at Ashoknagar in Sealdah-Bongaon section that led to suspension of train services in the route.

# Banking services: Banking services were also partially affected for the second day, as a section of PSU bank employees came in support of the strike call. All India Bank Employees' Association (AIBEA) and Bank Employees' Federation of India (BEFI) have supported the strike, which has impacted banking operation where these two unions are strong. However, the operation in SBI and private sector banks remained unaffected as other seven unions in the banking sector are not part of the strike. 

According to AIBEA General Secretary C H Vekatchalam, cash transactions, clearance of cheques, remittances, bills discounting and foreign exchange transactions were impacted. Cheques worth about Rs 20,000 crore could not be cleared by clearing houses all over the country on Tuesday, he claimed.

(With PTI inputs)

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First Published : 09 Jan 2019, 06:39:14 PM