Bengaluru: The Bharat Bandh which entered its second day on Wednesday saw the participation of Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD), Samajwadi Party (SP), Hindustani Awam Morcha (HAM) and Left Parties in Patna.
Earlier in the day, an attack on the treasury branch of the State Bank of India (SBI) in Kerala’s Thiruvananthapuram took place. The branch manager said a group of people came to his cabin at around 10 AM and threatened the staff, damaged a glass table top and a computer.
No additional police security was sought as the security staff was on duty, he said.
Meanwhile, at the Thiruvananthapuram railway station, Thiruvananthapuram-Hyderabad Sabari Express and Venad Express were blocked, while the Kottayam-Nilambur passenger train in Kalamassery was held up for a while.
At least two students got injured in West Bengal’s Howrah after protestors participating in the two-day nationwide strike called by Central Trade Unions demanding minimum wages and social security schemes among others, pelted stones at a bus at Shanpur Mor on Jhikira-Howrah route.
Bharat Bandh which has been called by ten trade unions disrupted normal life in several states across the country.
Violence was reported in West Bengal, Odisha and Kerala on Tuesday. Tyres were burnt and buses were vandalised at many places in Bengal. Following such incidents, the state government directed bus drivers to wear a helmet while driving. Around 20 crore workers of the Central Trade Unions (CTU) are participating in the two-day nationwide strike today and tomorrow.
This is the largest number of workers from formal and informal sectors joining a strike against anti-people and anti-worker policies of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-led central government, she stated. Reportedly, sectors like telecom, health, education, coal, steel, electricity, banking, insurance and transport are supporting the strike.
The trade unions will go on a protest march from Mandi House to Parliament in New Delhi on Wednesday. Similar protests would be carried out across the country.
The 10 CTUs which have gone on strike include Indian National Trade Union Congress (INTUC), All India Trade Union Congress (AITUC), HMS, Centre of Indian Trade Unions (CITU), All India United Trade Union Centre (AIUTUC), Trade Union Coordination Centre (TUCC), Self Employed Women’s Association (SEWA), All India Central Council of Trade Unions (AICCTU), Labour Progressive Federation (LPF) and United Trade Union Congress (UTUC). RSS affiliate Bharatiya Mazdoor Sangh (BMS) are not participating.
Reportedly, the government failed to create jobs and grossly ignored unions’ 12-point charter of demands. The Group of Ministers headed by Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on labour issues has not called unions for any discussion since the September 2, 2015 strike.
Here’s taking a look at how Day 2 strike has affected several cities:
Apart from BEST buses strike, engineers, operators and linesmen of Maharashtra State Electricity Distribution Company Limited (MSEDCL), the state-run power distribution company, Mahagenco and Mahatransco are also on strike. This may affect power generation and transmission.
Nearly 500 additional buses would ply on Kolkata roads to avoid inconvenience to residents. Police have taken all measures to foil any untoward incident during today’s strike, the government said. Private bus owners and taxi associations and Ola/Uber cabs have decided to ply vehicles on the roads.
Almost all the private schools will remain closed today. The state government has given indirect support to the bandh. Almost all state-run institutions, except hospitals, have been shut down.
Kerala State Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC) is not operating in the state and train services have also been delayed and disrupted due to the bandh called by trade unions. According to earlier reports, trains were blocked in Thiruvananthapuram, Ernakulam and Kozhikode.
Schools, colleges, universities and Anganwadis across the state have been shut in view of the Bharat bandh called by different trade unions. According to a local report, the Odisha government has asked employees of the state secretariat and the heads of departments to reach office around 9.30 AM today.