Clashes erupt in Bengal, 1,000 held

CPI says response to strike was more than expected

New Delhi: The day-long nationwide strike on Wednesday impacted normal life in various parts of the country with coal production, banking operations and transport services being hit the most. The impact of the strike was most visible in states like West Bengal, where violent clashes erupted and resulted in the arrest of over 1,000 persons.

The strike call was given by 10 Central trade unions against changes in labour laws, the privatisation of public sector undertakings and for other demands.

The BJP-backed Bharatiya Mazdoor Sangh (BMS) and NFITU, however, stayed away from the strike.

Union leaders claimed that over 15 crore organised sector workers went on strike.

The government, however, said the strike did not have much impact in most parts of the country even as it hinted at meeting the “aspirations” of the workers on nine of their 12 demands.

Terming the all-India general strike “a great success”, the Left parties congratulated the protesters.

“Great success I should say. (The response) was more than expected,” CPI general secretary S. Sudhakar Reddy said.

Apart from West Bengal, the other states where the impact was total were Tripura, Kerala, Karnataka, Puducherry and Odisha, while partial impact was visible in Delhi, Punjab, Haryana, Tamil Nadu, Goa, Gujarat, Bihar and Jharkhand.

In West Bengal, over 1,000 persons were arrested from different parts after clashes occurred between Left and Trinamul workers, including in Murshidabad district. Services of the South Eastern Railway and Eastern Railway were partially affected.

( Source : deccan chronicle )
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