Bharat Bandh 2020 Updates: TMC, CPM spar over violence in Bengal; parties without political existence indulging in cheap tactics, alleges Mamata Banerjee

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Bharat Bandh 2020 Updates: TMC, CPM spar over violence in Bengal; parties without political existence indulging in cheap tactics, alleges Mamata Banerjee
  • 19:39 (IST)

    Banking services hit in Maharashtra as employees go on strike

    Banking services across Maharashtra were hit on Wednesday as nearly 40,000 bank employees, including 10,000 officers, joined the day-long nationwide strike called by 10 major trade unions on Wednesday against the Centre's "anti-people" policies. The RBI's workmen staff from its various offices, including from the central office in Mumbai, also went on strike on Wednesday, a union leader said.

    "Bank employees while endorsing the demands put forth by the central trade unions are focusing on recruitment, early wage settlement, pension updation, and old pension scheme to newly joined employees," the All India Banks Employees' Association said. Public sector banks, old generation private banks and a few foreign banks joined the Wednesday strike, it said.

    Ten central trade unions had claimed claimed participation of around 25 crore people in the nationwide strike called to protest against the union government's labour reforms, FDI, disinvestment, corporatisation and privatisation policies.

    (PTI)

  • 19:20 (IST)

    Strike receives partial response in Punjab, Haryana

    A day-long nationwide strike call, given by the central trade unions against the government's "anti-people" policies, on Wednesday evoked partial response in Punjab and Haryana. Protesters resorted to blocking roads and squatting on rails tracks at a few places and also took out processions against the Central government in support of their demands in Punjab.

    With the state roadways employees joining the nationwide strike, buses remained off road at several places including Amritsar, Nawanshahr, Ludhiana, Roopnagar and Kapurthala in Punjab.

    Though a faction of Haryana Roadways had announced to join the strike, public transport services were not affected much, barring a few places including Sirsa and Hisar. At some bus depots in Haryana, the police ensured protesters do not disrupt plying of buses, PTI reported.

  • 19:03 (IST)

    Jadavpur University students' union joins Bharat Bandh

    The Jadavpur University students' union joined the nationwide strike called by labour unions against the "anti-labour" policies of the BJP-led government at the Centre. The students staged a demonstration near their campus, News18 reported.

  • 18:56 (IST)

    Protesters block Nobel laureate Michael Levitt's boat on Kerala backwaters

    A houseboat carrying Nobel laureate Michael Levitt in the backwaters in Kerala's Alappuzha was blocked for some time by trade union activists who are on a nationwide strike against the Centre's "anti-labour" policies on Wednesday.

    Police said that Levitt, who received the 2013 Nobel Prize in Chemistry, was in Alappuzha with his wife and was stopped by the protesters near Kainakary. "We received a call from the boat driver saying the protesters were not allowing to take the boat for the ride. When we were about to leave for the place, the boat driver called us back and told us that the issue was solved and they have left," a police officer told PTI.

    However, the officer said a team will visit the houseboat and enquire about the incident and seek details from the driver. The driver claimed that the protesters blocked the boat for around two hours.

  • 17:47 (IST)

    Banking services partially hit in Gujarat

     
    "Banking services in Gujarat were partially hit as employees associated with All India Bank Officers' Association (AIBOA) joined the strike," said Dhiraj Desai, general secretary of Bank of Baroda Employees Union.
     
    As a result, some nationalised banks are either shut or are only partially functional, he added. However, the strike has had no impact on the operations of the State Bank of India, Indian Overseas Bank and Bank of Baroda in the state, as majority of the employees of these banks are associated with other unions, which have not joined the strike, he said.
     
    Transport services are absolutely normal across the state while offices of various business establishments also remained open. Although trade unions claimed that factory production was hit in many parts of Gujarat, industrialists said it was business as usual.

  • 17:32 (IST)

    Mamata Banerjee instigated violence during trade unions' strike, alleges CPM

     
     
    CPM politburo member Mohammed Salim alleged that West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee instigated TMC cadres and police personnel to indulge in violence in the state during the one-day strike called by 10 central trade unions. Salim also denied claims that Left cadres and Congress workers were involved in arson in Malda district.
     
    "None of the protesters or strike supporters were involved in violence. It is Mamata Banerjee who instigated violence. The TMC cadres and police personnel in order to please the chief minister, indulged in arson. Despite threats, the strike has been successful in Bengal," PTI quoted Salim as saying. 

  • 17:24 (IST)

    Banking services hit, business as usual in Telangana

    Barring banking services being hit, it was business as usual in Telangana on Wednesday despite the nationwide strike called by various trade unions protesting the Centre's 'anti-people' policies.

    Operations in all public sector banks except SBI were affected. However, most of the shops and business establishments were open while transport services remained unaffected.The strike by as many as three lakh employees and workers passed off peacefully with the participation of members of various trade unions in the state, senior leader of Telangana CPI, Sudhakar told PTI.

  • 17:04 (IST)

    In Patna, Anganwadi workers join strike, demand higher wages

     
     
    On the streets of the Patna, thousands of men and women marched carrying gigantic banners inscribed with slogans in support of their demands and critical of "divisive government policies", beside names of parties like CPI, CPI(M) and CPI (ML) and affiliates like All India Progressive Womens​ Association. A large number of Anganwadi workers, wearing headbands inscribed with slogans opposing the Labour Code Bill and demanding regularization of jobs and increase in wages were also seen among the protesters.
     
    PTI

  • 17:00 (IST)

    800 workers, including two MPs, arrested in Coimbatore

    Two MPs of Left parties were among 800 workers of eight trade unions who were arrested in Comibatore on Wednesday while attempting to stage a demonstration as part of the nationwide strike. As the workers attempted to stage demonstration near the district collectorate, police arrested them, reports PTI

     
    Similar protests were held at Valparai, Pollachi and Mettupalayam in the district and Tirupur, police said.
           

  • 16:53 (IST)

    Normal life affected in Bihar

     
    The strike called by trade unions and farmers bodies had a perceptible impact in Bihar where people hit the streets on Wednesday demanding workers rights
    and denouncing the Citizenship (Amendment) Act and the proposed country-wide implementation of NRC. The Left parties have extended their support to the strike.
     
    The state capital woke up to huge inconveniences caused by auto-rickshaws staying off the roads, throwing normal life out of gear in a city where public transport is virtually non-existent and the three-wheeler is the most popular form of commute.
     
    The strike led to less than normal attendance at banks, government offices and educational institutions where those owing allegiance to the trade unions involved in the strike stayed off work. However, no incident of violence or conflict was reported from anywhere across the state, police sources said.

  • 16:33 (IST)

    Banking services in Madhya Pradesh hit due to strikes

     
     
    Banking services in Madhya Pradesh were affected on Wednesday due to the nationwide strike called by 10 Central trade union to protest against the Central
    government's "anti-labour" policies.
     
     
    "The strike has affected banking operations in the state and we have received reports that it was also effective in transport, income tax and postal sectors," Madhya Pradesh Bank Employees Association (MPBEA) general secretary, VK Sharma told PTI. However, operations of the State Bank of India remained unaffected, as its employees refrained from taking part in the protest, an SBI official said.
     
     
    While the strike impacted banking and postal services in Jhabua and Sehore districts, markets and petrol pumps remained open in the entire state.

  • 16:20 (IST)

    Protests held in Himachal Pradesh despite rain, snowfall

     
    Trade unions in Shimla and other parts of Himachal Pradesh  joined the nationwide strike despite heavy snowfall and rain. In Shimla, trade unions led by CITU State President Vijendra Mehra held protest at Panchayat Bhawan and raised slogans against the central government.  Protests were also held in Theog, Rampur, Rohru and Chopal of Shimla district despite bad weather. 
     
    In Hamirpur, hundreds of activists of left parties and their affiliated organisations took out a procession through the town, raising slogans against the central government. However, shops, business establishments and transport services functioned normally.
     

  • 16:08 (IST)

    No effect of trade union strike in Maharashtra; train services remain unaffected

     
     
    The nationwide strike seems to have failed to evoke much response in Maharashtra till Wednesday afternoon with transport and banking services remaining largely unaffected in many districts as well as in the country's financial capital.
     
     
    No untoward incident was reported so far from any region of the state.
     
     
    Suburban trains, which are called as the "lifeline of Mumbai" with a ridership of more than 75 lakh commuters per day, public buses, taxis and autorickshaws are running normally in the island city and suburbs.

  • 16:04 (IST)

    National Capital largely unaffected by nationwide trade union strike

     
    The National Capital largely remained unaffected by the nation-wide strike called by trade unions on Wednesday, though most industrial workers stayed away from work.
     
     
    Metro and the Delhi Transport Corporation (DTC) services functioned normally despite the strike call.
     
     
    Officials said no trains have been affected in the National Capital, but some Delhi-bound trains from Odisha and West Bengal could be affected. Widespread intermittent rains also reduced the intensity of the strike.
     
    - PTI

  • 16:02 (IST)

    In Pictures: Centre of Indian Trade Unions (CITU) holds protest in Himachal Pradesh's Shimla

  • 16:01 (IST)

    Train services affected in Bengal's Sealdah, Howrah and Kharagpur areas

     
     
    Flight services were normal at Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose International Airport but, train services were partially affected in some sectors of the Sealdah, Howrah and Kharagpur​ sections due to obstruction by protesters.

  • 15:48 (IST)

    Those who don't have political existence in Bengal trying to mar its economy by using cheap politics: Mamata Banerjee​

     
    Hitting out at the Left and the Congress, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee said on Wednesday that those who don't have any political existence in the state are trying to ruin its economy by pursuing "cheap politics" of strikes.
     
     
    Mamata said she supported the cause of the strike, which has been called to protest against the Centre's economic policies, the Citizenship Amendment Act and the proposed nationwide NRC, but reiterated that her party and government is against any sort of shutdown.
     
     
    "We will not allow any strike in Bengal. Those who don't have any political existence in the state are trying to ruin its economy by pursuing cheap politics such as strikes," she said.
     

  • 15:36 (IST)

    Protests in Delhi University in support of Bharat Bandh 

    Demonstration was also held in Delhi University's North Campus on Wednesday in support of Bharat Bandh called by ten trade unions and against Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) and National Register of Citizens (NRC).

  • 15:23 (IST)

    55 arrested in different parts of Kolkata

    Till noon, around 55 people were arrested from different parts of the city for allegedly trying to block vehicles, stall government buses or forcibly stop shopkeepers from opening their establishments, a senior officer of the Kolkata Police told PTI.

  • 15:22 (IST)

    WATCH | Bus vandalised in Cooch Behar district

    A bus was vandalised in West Bengal's Cooch Behar district where a Bharat Bandh called by ten trade unions against anti-worker policies of the Centre was being observed.

  • 15:20 (IST)

    Bombs on railway tracks, pelting stones is 'gundagardi', not movement, says Mamata Banerjee

    West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee blamed the CPM for creating unrest during the all-India strike being observed in the state. "Planting bombs on railway tracks is 'gundagardi'. In the name of movement, commuters are being beaten up and stones are being pelted. This is 'dadagiri', not a movement," she said.

    She said that after the strikes called by Left parties were rejected and they are hurling bombs on buses now tfor "cheap publicity".

  • 15:08 (IST)

    175 local trains cancelled in West Bengal's Sealdah, Howrah divisions

     
    At least 175 local trains were cancelled in the Sealdah and Howrah divisions of Eastern Railway (ER) owing to the blockades put up by supporters of the strike.
     
    In the Howrah-Kharagpur section of South Eastern Railway, there were blockades at some places for durations from 10 minutes to half an hour, but no train was cancelled, its spokesman Sanjoy Ghosh told PTI.
     
    Sealdah division of Eastern Railway was the most affected with cancellation of 128 local trains since morning, ER spokesman Nikhil Chakraborty said. In its Howrah division, 47 more EMU locals were cancelled and 10 mail and express trains were detained enroute, he said. Train services in all the divisions were normalised by 1 pm after the blockades were lifted, Chakraborty said.
     
    At some places like Ashoknagar and Habra in Sealdah North section, banana leaves were thrown onto overhead electrical wires, while railway sleepers were placed on the tracks at Deula and Magrahat stations in Sealdah south section, to stop train movement.

  • 15:05 (IST)

    Banking services impacted, transport unaffected in Madhya Pradesh

     
    Banking services in Madhya Pradesh were affected amid the nationwide strike, but transport and other services remained unaffected with markets and petrol pumps remaining open across the state.
     
    Several bank employees under the banner of the All India Bank Employees Association (AIBEA) and All India Bank Officers Association among others took out a rally at MP Nagar. However, operations of the State Bank of India remained unaffected, as its employees refrained from taking part in the protest, an SBI official said.

  • 14:59 (IST)

    Clash erupts in West Bengal's Burdwan; crude bombs found in North 24 Parganas district

    A clash erupted allegedly between Trinamool Congress (TMC) and Students' Federation of India (SFI) workers in Burdwan during the Bharat Bandh called by ten trade Unions against 'anti-worker policies of Central Government'.

    Meanwhile, four crude bombs were recovered by the police from a railway track near Hridaypur station in North 24 Parganas.

  • 14:56 (IST)

    Kerala comes to a halt as trade, transport unions observe strike

     
    The day-long strike called by central trade unions was near total in Left-ruled Kerala, with vehicles, including state-owned KSRTC and private buses keeping off the roads. Very few private vehicles and autorickshaws were seen plying on roads. As Sabarimala pilgrims have been exempted from the strike, KSRTC buses are taking Ayyappa devotees to Pamba.
     
    With trade unions of the ruling CPI(M)-led LDF and opposition Congress-headed UDF participating in the strike, most of the staff did not turn up at the Secretariat. Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan and other ministers also did not attend office.
     
    Shops and business establishments were also shut across the state despite the Kerala Vyapari Vyavasayi Ekopana Samithi, an organisation of traders, stating that they would remain open. The Mahatma Gandhi, Kerala and Kannur universities have postponed various examinations scheduled for Wednesday.
     
    PTI
     

  • 14:47 (IST)

    In Pictures: Protest march underway in Delhi

  • 14:28 (IST)

    Protests turn violent in West Bengal's Malda

    The nationwide strike called by the trade unions against the Centre's labour and economic policies have turned violent in West Bengal's Malda district CNN News18 reported.  

    Police vehicles have been set on fire. In retaliation, the state police fired tear gas shells and rubber bullets to disperse protestors. The National Highway 34 has been shut. 

Bharat Bandh 2020 Updates: Hitting out at the Left and the Congress, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee said on Wednesday that those who don't have any political existence in the state are trying to ruin its economy by pursuing "cheap politics" of strikes.

Two MPs of Left parties were among 800 workers of eight trade unions who were arrested in Comibatore on Wednesday while attempting to stage a demonstration as part of the nationwide strike. As the workers attempted to stage demonstration near the district collectorate, police arrested them, reports PTI.

Banking services in Madhya Pradesh were affected on Wednesday due to the nationwide strike called by 10 Central trade union to protest against the Central government's "anti-labour" policies. The National Capital largely remained unaffected by the nation-wide strike called by trade unions on Wednesday, though most industrial workers stayed away from work.

Till noon, around 55 people were arrested from different parts of the city for allegedly trying to block vehicles, stall government buses or forcibly stop shopkeepers from opening their establishments, a senior officer of the Kolkata Police told PTI.

The nationwide strike called by the trade unions against the Centre's labour and economic policies have turned violent in West Bengal's Malda district CNN News18 reported.

Police vehicles have been set on fire. In retaliation, the state police fired tear gas shells and rubber bullets to disperse protestors. The National Highway 34 has been shut.

In the nationwide strike called by ten trade unions against the Centre's wrong labour and economic policies, about 25 crore workers are expected to join the strike on Wednesday.

Services at public sector banks across the country are expected to be affected in the Bharat Bandh on Wednesday. However, private sector banks may not be affected during the strike. Apart from banking services, transport and other services across the country are likely to be hit on Wednesday.

ATM services across the country are expected to be affected in Wednesday's general strike.

However, the strike may not affect the net banking facility as the NEFT services are available round the clock now.

Most of the banks have already informed stock exchanges about the Bharat Bandh and its impact on banking services, reported PTI.

Various bank employee associations, including AIBEA, All India Bank Officers' Association (AIBOA), BEFI, INBEF, INBOC and Bank Karmachari Sena Mahasangh (BKSM), have expressed their willingness to participate in the strike.

Banking services like deposit and withdrawal, cheque clearing and instrument issuance are expected to be impacted due to the strike.

However, services at private sector banks are unlikely to be impacted.

Nearly 25 crore people are likely to take part in the all-India strike on Wednesday to protest against the government's "anti-people" policies.

Country's leading lender State Bank of India (SBI) said the strike is set to have minimal impact on its operations adding very few SBI employees will be a part of the six bank unions participating in the strike.

However, Bank of Baroda expressed concerns that the strike could hit its operations.

Last week, state-owned Syndicate Bank said it was taking necessary steps for the smooth functioning of its branches on Wednesday.

In a BSE filing, the lender said it received notice from the AIBEA, BEFI, INBEF and INBOC on the proposed one-day strike.

Other than banking, transport and other key services are also likely to be disrupted in many states due to this nationwide strike call.

In West Bengal, trade unions affiliated to Left and other parties called for a bandh against the economic policies of the BJP-led government at the Centre.

However, the state government said it will not support any bandh.

Meanwhile, in Kerala, the trade unions exempted the state's tourism sector from Wednesday's general strike.

Kerala Travel Mart (KTM) Society hailed as "exemplary" the decision by political parties and trade unions to exempt the state's tourism sector from Wednesdays general strike.

"Any employee going on strike in any form, including protest, would face the consequences which, besides deduction of wages, may also include appropriate disciplinary action," said an office memorandum issued by the government.

"Suitable contingency plan may also be worked out to carry out the various functions of the ministry/department," it added.

Trade unions INTUC, AITUC, HMS, CITU, AIUTUC, TUCC, SEWA, AICCTU, LPF, UTUC along with various sectoral independent federations and associations had adopted a declaration in September last year to go on a nationwide strike on 8 January 2020.

"The Ministry of Labour has failed to assure any of the demands of workers which called a meeting on January 2, 2020. The attitude of the government is that of contempt towards labour as we construe from its policies and actions," the 10 CTUs said in a joint statement.

"We expect participation of not less than 25 crore of working people in the forthcoming National General Strike on 8 January 2020, to be followed by many more actions seeking reversal of the anti-worker, anti-people, anti-national policies of the government," it said.

With PTI inputs

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Updated Date: Jan 08, 2020 21:02:02 IST