The first day of the two-day Bharat bandh turned violent in Noida as mobs of workers attacked factories that were open, and set fire to vehicles belonging to factory administration as well as to fire tenders. At least one factory complex was also torched, officials and witnesses said.
A truck and bus was torched, and protesters also threw stones at factories. Police sources said that a hosiery unit in Noida was also ransacked. Hours later, strike supporters stoned factories and outlets in sectors 81, 82 and 84 of Greater Noida.
Glass panes in many factories were shattered even as security guards tried to pacify the mobs and later fired in the air, a police officer told IANS.
The workers reportedly got angry because no one from the administration had come to speak to them despite the fact that they had been protesting since morning.
CPIM leader Brinda Karat said that while she did not condone the Noida violence, it was a sign that the government needed to care for workers. "I am not justifying the violence in Noida. But you need to investigate first before blaming anyone. Government should stop praising corporates and care for the workers", she told IBN 7.
However, Left leader Gurudas Dasgupta said that the Bharat bandh was largely peaceful and said that the violence in Noida was being blown out of proportion.