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Monday, February 17, 2020

Bharat Bandh: Violence, arson across Bengal, 55 arrested in Kolkata

Bharat Bandh: Other than banking, transport and other key services are also likely to be disrupted in many states due to the nationwide strike.

By: Express Web Desk | New Delhi | Updated: January 9, 2020 9:14:36 am
Bharat Bandh Today LIVE Updates: Violence, arson across Bengal, 55 arrested in Kolkata Protesters outside the University of Calcutta. (Express photo by Shashi Ghosh)

Bharat Bandh: Protesters on Wednesday hit the road across the country as trade unions called for a day-long strike as part of a Bharat bandh call. In West Bengal, incidents of violence and arson were reported from various parts and PTI reported that around 55 people have been arrested from Kolkata as trade union activists along with Left and Congress supporters picketed in support of the 24-hour general strike against the “anti-people” policies.

Ten Central Trade Unions (CTUs) — INTUC, AITUC, HMS, CITU, AIUTUC, TUCC, SEWA, AICCTU, LPF, UTUC — along with various sectoral independent federations and associations will protest against the “anti-people” policies of the BJP-led NDA government at the Centre.

See pictures: Thousands of trade union members respond to Bharat Bandh call

Multiple banking activities such as cash withdrawal and deposits have been affected at branches of various PSU banks. Most public sector banks had earlier informed their customers about the call for strike given by All India Bank Employees Association (AIBEA), All India Bank Officers’ Association (AIBOA), BEFI, INBEF, INBOC and the Bank Karmachari Sena Mahasangh (BKSM).

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Bharat Bandh hits banking, transport services due to trade unions' strike 

Highlights

    21:47 (IST)08 Jan 2020
    Trade unions' strike hits jute sector in West Bengal

    The nationwide strike by trade unions on Wednesday impacted the jute sector in West Bengal, as a number of mills remained shut, sources said.

    Jute mill managements said only a handful of mills were operational in Hooghly, Barrackpore, Bhatpara and Naihati.

    "Most of the jute mills did not open for the day and those that remained operational reported partial production," Indian Jute Mills Association Chairman Raghavendra Gupta said.

    He told PTI that such strikes have an adverse impact on the jute sector, which is already grappling with a supply shortfall.

    21:44 (IST)08 Jan 2020
    15 lakh power sector employees, engineers on strike: AIPEF

    About 15 lakh power sector employees and engineers across the country went on strike on Wednesday in support of 'Bharat Bandh' call given by 10 central trade unions.

    Power sector employees are protesting against the Centre's proposed amendments to the Electricity Act as well as other privatisation policies of the government, which they say are against the interest of the consumers and employees.

    They are also demanding implementation of old pension scheme for all employees.

    "About 1.5 million power sector employees and engineers, including 25,000 in UP, are on the boycott/strike which is a success," Chairman of All India Power Engineers Federation (AIPEF), Shailendra Dubey told PTI.

    20:13 (IST)08 Jan 2020
    Nationwide strike evokes mixed response in Chhattisgarh

    The day-long nationwide strike called by the central trade unions against the government's alleged anti-worker and anti-farmer policies evoked a mixed response in the Congress-ruled Chhattisgarh on Wednesday. Key sectors like banking and insurance witnessed partial impact on their functioning during the 'Bharat Bandh'. Several nationalised banks were closed as their employees joined the strike.

    19:25 (IST)08 Jan 2020
    Banking operations hit in Rajasthan due to trade unions' strike

    Banking and financial operations were affected in Rajasthan where thousands of employees associated with trade unions participated in nationwide bandh on Wednesday. Roadways buses, autorickshaw services were partially affected, particularly in areas like Sikar, Ganganagar and Hanumangarh. However, the strike remained peaceful in the state.

    "Direct and indirect banking business to the tune of Rs 10,000 crore got affected today due to the strike. Most of the bank employees in the state participated in the strike," Mahesh Mishra, general secretary of Rajasthan Pradesh bank employees union, said.  He said that of the total nearly 25,000 bank employees in the state, almost 20,000 joined the strike.

    19:14 (IST)08 Jan 2020
    Nationwide strike call evokes 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, the police said.

    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, causing inconvenience to passengers. 

    18:34 (IST)08 Jan 2020
    Coimbatore: Over 800 workers, including MPs arrested

    Two MPs of Left parties were among 800 workers of eight trade unions who were arrested on Wednesday while attempting to stage a demonstration as part of the nationwide strike to protest the "anti-labour" policies of the BJP-led government at the Centre. The demonstration was led by CPI Lok Sabha MP, K Subbaryan, who is also Tamil Nadu AITUC president and CPI(M) MP, P R Natarajan.

    17:15 (IST)08 Jan 2020
    Mumbai: Trade union joint action committee protest at Azad maidan

    (Express photo by Nirmal Harindran)

    16:55 (IST)08 Jan 2020
    Tripura: 125 detained by police at Kailashahar in Unakoti district

    A total of 125 people have been detained by police at Kailashahar in Unakoti district of Tripura. The detainees, from both CPIM and BJP, clashed among each other. 

    16:46 (IST)08 Jan 2020
    Business as usual in Telangana, banking ops hit

    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. 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 said. Representatives of various unions held dharna at Dharna Chowk near Indira Park.

    16:34 (IST)08 Jan 2020
    Banking services partially hit in Gujarat

    Banking services were partially hit in Gujarat on Wednesday due to the nationwide strike called by 10 central trade unions to protest against the Central government's "anti-labour" policies. 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.

    "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.

    16:15 (IST)08 Jan 2020
    Haryana: Honda’s plant, units of component makers hit in Manesar-Bawal industrial belt

    Production at Honda Motorcycle and Scooter India’s (HMSI) Manesar plant in Haryana and factories of various auto component manufacturers in Manesar-Bawal industrial belt was hit on Wednesday by the day-long strike called by 10 major trade unions against the Centre’s “anti-people” policies.

    The strike, however, had no impact on production of auto majors Maruti Suzuki India, Hero MotoCorp and Honda Cars India at their plants in various parts of the country. READ MORE

    16:08 (IST)08 Jan 2020
    No effect of strike in Mumbai, most of Maha; transport normal

    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.

    Similarly, Metro and Monorail services are running smoothly, officials said, adding that BEST-operated bus services are also running as per schedule. Private transport services like taxis and auto-rickshaws are also plying normally in Mumbai. Film and TV shoots also remained unaffected. The Federation of Western India Cine Employees (FWICE) said all its members were at work as usual and nothing was hampered because of the strike. 

    15:44 (IST)08 Jan 2020
    Violence, arson across Bengal, 55 arrested in Kolkata

    Incidents of violence and arson were reported from various parts of West Bengal with buses, a police vehicle and government properties being vandalised by strikers who tried to enforce the 24-hour bandh on Wednesday. Protesters blocked a major road in Sujapur area of Malda district, set tyres on fire, ransacked government buses and torched several vehicles, including a police van. When police tried to control the situation, they hurled stones and crude bombs. The police then baton-charged the mob, lobbed teargas shells and fired rubber bullets, officials said.

    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 said. (PTI)

    15:27 (IST)08 Jan 2020
    Bharat bandh by Left ‘cheap politics’: Mamata Banerjee

    Lashing out at the Left parties for calling Bharat bandh, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Wednesday said they are doing it for “cheap publicity”. “Bandhs called by them (Left parties) earlier were rejected. They want to get cheap publicity by calling bandh and hurling bombs on buses. Instead of gaining this publicity, political death is better,” she was quoted as saying by ANI. READ MORE

    14:52 (IST)08 Jan 2020
    Sporadic incidents of violence across Bengal as strikers try to enforce bandh

    Sporadic incidents of violence were reported from various parts of West Bengal on Wednesday as trade union activists backed by Left and Congress members tried to enforce the 24-hour strike against the Centre's "anti people" policies. The strikers blocked rail and roads in several parts of the state affecting normal life. They burnt tyres and blocked roads in various parts of the East Burdwan district, besides staging sit-in on railway tracks, affecting train services in the sector.

    In East Midnapore district, stones were hurled at buses. When police tried to remove protesters, a scuffle ensued, following which several strikers were arrested, the police said. (PTI) 

    14:28 (IST)08 Jan 2020
    Asha workers take part in Bharat Bandh

    ASHA workers during Nationwide Trade Union protest in Ludhiana. Express Photo Gurmeet Singh 

    14:18 (IST)08 Jan 2020
    Cong, left leaders taken into custody for participating in general strike in AP

    Leaders of the Congress, CPI and CPM were taken into custody as they staged a sit-in protest on the highway outside the RTC bus station in Vijayawada on Wednesday as part of the nationwide general strike called by various organisations. Rallies were taken out by the Left parties and trade unions in major towns and cities of Andhra Pradesh, opposing the policies being adopted by the Central government.

    14:16 (IST)08 Jan 2020
    15 lakh power sector employees, engineers on strike: AIPEF

    About 15 lakh power sector employees and engineers across the country went on strike on Wednesday in support of 'Bharat Bandh' call given by 10 central trade unions.  Power sector employees are protesting against the Centre's proposed amendments to the Electricity Act as well as other privatisation policies of the government, which they say are against the interest of the consumers and employees.

    12:31 (IST)08 Jan 2020
    Bharat Bandh: Banking services hit in Telangana

    Banking services across Telangana were severely hit by the nationwide strike called by various trade unions protesting the central government's 'anti-people' policies on Wednesday. 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 was underway with the participation of members of various trade unions in the state, senior leader of Telangana CPI, Sudhakar said.

    12:28 (IST)08 Jan 2020
    BJP supporters in Agartala oppose strike

    In Agartala, BJP supporters on motorcycles ply streets opposing the strike. They were seen encouraging shopkeepers to open shops in different parts of Agartala and other districts of Tripura since morning today.   

    12:21 (IST)08 Jan 2020
    Clashes erupt in Bengal between TMC and SFI

    Protests have turned violent in parts of west Bengal over Bharat Bandh.

    #WATCH West Bengal: 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' pic.twitter.com/G9WFzmVUYQ


    — ANI (@ANI) January 8, 2020

    11:24 (IST)08 Jan 2020
    No impact of Bandh in Hyderabad

    Meanwhile, in Hyderabad, Bandh has not had any impact.    

     

    11:21 (IST)08 Jan 2020
    Kochi metro stations deserted

    Following the Bharat Bandh, metro stations in Kochi were seen largely empty on Wednesday.

    11:17 (IST)08 Jan 2020
    Bharat Bandh: Shops and market in Kochi on shutdown mode

    Empty streets, shops shut down is the scene at Kochi's Jew Street areas.

    11:12 (IST)08 Jan 2020
    Amid rain in Delhi, workers assemble at ITO to protest

    In Delhi, AITUC General Secretary Amarjeet Kaur said rains could not impact on the movement as workers' processions will be taken out in industrial areas of the state; and as planned, workers will assemble at the ITO and take out a procession.

    "We are getting reports from all over India.? BHEL workers have gone on strike, ?oil unions are on strike. There is a situation of bandh in states of north-east, Odisha, Pondicherry, Kerala and Maharashtra. Roadways depots are closed in Haryana," she said.

    11:11 (IST)08 Jan 2020
    Bharat Bandh cripples normal life in Kerala

    In Kerala,  there is very little vehicular traffic and shops and business establishments are closed in many parts of Kerala.  

    10:58 (IST)08 Jan 2020
    Protest underway on Mount road in Chennai

    With Central Trade Unions having called for a nation wide strike, government and private buses plying between Cuddalore district in Tamil Nadu and neighbouring Puducherry have suspended services today.

    10:14 (IST)08 Jan 2020
    Bharat Bandh: Heavy police deployment seen in parts of Kolkata

    In Kolkata, government buses were plying normally but the number of private buses was less in the early hours. Metro services were normal in the city and auto-rickshaws and taxis were also seen on the roads. Heavy police deployment was seen in several areas of the city, including in Tollygunge, Behala, Esplanade and Jadavpur. In some areas of north Bengal, the Trinamool Congress took out rallies opposing the strike and urged people to maintain normalcy.

    09:50 (IST)08 Jan 2020
    Across Maharashtra, rasta roko will be held in Nashik, Kolhapur, Sangli, Pune and rural areas

    In Maharashtra, Ashok Dhawale, president of All India Kisan Sabha (AIKS), said a large protest would be held at Azad Maidan to observe Bharat Bandh. “We are expecting a huge turnout… people are also angry over the JNU incident.” Across Maharashtra, rasta roko will be held in Nashik, Kolhapur, Sangli, Pune and rural areas. “Farmers would gather to hold protest and block roads,” Dhawale said. 

    Bharat Petroleum Corporation Limited employees protest against govt's decision of strategic disinvestment of Bharat Petroleum in Mumbai. (ANI) 

    09:26 (IST)08 Jan 2020
    Modi-Shah Govt’s anti people, anti labour policies have created catastrophic unemployment: Rahul Gandhi on Bharat Bandh

    Issuing a statement in solidarity with the strike over unemployment today, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Wednesday blamed the "anti-people, anti-labour policies of the Modi-Shah government."

    09:12 (IST)08 Jan 2020
    Bus driver wears helmet in wake of Bharat Bandh protests in Siliguri

    In Siliguri, bus driver wore a helmet in wake of Bharat Bandh protests. 

    08:53 (IST)08 Jan 2020
    Bharat Bandh: KSRTC bus damaged in Karnataka

    In Karnataka’s Madikeri, a KSRTC bus has been damaged due to stone-pelting.  “However, bus operations are normal across the state with 899/1008 buses starting services on time,” KSRTC PRO Latha T S said.   Bengaluru City Police Commissioner Bhaskar Rao on Tuesday said no permission would be granted to any organisation to carry out rallies on Wednesday. “The protesters can protest at the Freedom Park but the permission for the procession is denied. We will take action against any organisation if they violate the rules,” Rao said.

    08:44 (IST)08 Jan 2020
    Will not support any bandh: TMC govt in West Bengal

    In West Bengal, trade unions affiliated to the Left and other parties have supported the bandh against the economic policies of the BJP-led government at the Centre. However, the TMC-led state government said it will not support any bandh.   Visuals from West Bengal this morning.  (Express Photo by Partha Paul) 

    07:58 (IST)08 Jan 2020
    Bharat Bandh: Protesters in West Bengal block railway track in Howrah

    Protesters in West Bengal block railway track in Howrah, Kanchrapara and North 24 Parganas. (Photo: ANI) 

    07:51 (IST)08 Jan 2020
    Congress silent on strike

    As many as 10 central trade unions will on Wednesday observe a general strike, which may turn into a bandh in states like Kerala. This will be the biggest protest action by workers in a year, that too on issues like unemployment. And the Congress, the main Opposition party, has been silent on the strike. While Rahul Gandhi often talks about unemployment, the party has not issued any statement in solidarity with the strike or opposing the government. The party’s trade union wing INTUC, though, is taking part in the strike.

    07:49 (IST)08 Jan 2020
    Haryana Roadways’ staffers to go on strike today, more than 12 lakh passengers to be affected

    The staffers of Haryana Roadways will go on strike today which may affect public transport services in the state. More than 12 lakh passengers travel in state-run buses including few Volvo buses daily. Roadways employees unions are upset with the introduction of kilometre scheme meant to hire private buses as they see it a move aimed to privatise the roadways, an allegation the government has been terming baseless. Initially, the unions had given call for two days strike. They have decided to go on strike today to participate in the nationwide stir against privatisation, but the strike of January 7 was called exclusively to press for the demands of Haryana Roadways employees and to oppose the kilometre scheme. The state government, however,  has succeeded in convincing the employees unions to withdraw the call of Tuesday’s strike. 

    07:06 (IST)08 Jan 2020
    Kerala state tourism sector exempted from Trade strike

    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 Wednesday's 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.

    06:54 (IST)08 Jan 2020
    Ensure smooth functioning of enterprises: Central govt to public sector undertakings

    The central government has asked public sector undertakings to dissuade their employees from participating in the 'Bharat Bandh' called on Wednesday and advised them to prepare a contingency plan to ensure smooth functioning of the enterprises. "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.

    06:51 (IST)08 Jan 2020
    Impact of bank strike will be minimal: SBI

    The bank unions have called the strike to protest against banking reforms and mega-merger of PSU banks initiated by the Narendra Modi government. The All India Bank Employees Association (AIBEA), All India Bank Officers Association (AIBOA), Bank Employees Federation of India (BEFI), Indian National Bank Employees Federation (INBEF) and Indian National Bank Officers Congress (INBOC) had issued a circular last month on its decision to join the nationwide strike. In a stock exchange filing, State Bank of India (SBI), however, said the impact of the bank strike would be minimal on its operations.

    06:08 (IST)08 Jan 2020
    West Bengal to run extra buses, give up to Rs 6L insurance for vehicles damaged in bandh

    In West Bengal, trade unions affiliated to the Left and other parties have supported the bandh against the economic policies of the BJP-led government at the Centre. However, the TMC-led state government said it will not support any bandh. “The State Transport Undertakings will operate about 22 per cent additional buses tomorrow,” a Transport Department official quoted minister Adhikari. The West Bengal Travel Corporation will operate 1,150 buses as compared to the usual 900 buses. South Bengal State Transport Corporation will run 826 buses as against the usual 692 buses. North Bengal State Transport Corporation will roll out 655 buses as compared to the normal 605 buses. Meanwhile, all the vehicles registered within the state of West Bengal have been insured by the Transport Department with an insurance coverage of up to Rs 6 lakh. Read more here

     bharat bandh, bharat bandh on 8th January 2020, bharat bandh today, bharat bandh live news, bharat bandh news update, bharat bandh 2020, bharat bandh live, bharat bandh latest news, bharat bandh live news, bharat bandh live updates, bharat band live news, nationwide strike today, nationwide strike today update, nationwide strike today live news, bharat bandh in india, bharat bandh bangalore, bharat bandh karnataka Other than banking, transport and other key services are also likely to be disrupted in many states due to this Bharat bandh call. (File photo)

    Condemning the JNU violence and similar incidents in other universities, the trade unions expressed their solidarity with students and teachers all over India. The unions will also protest against privatisation in railways, corporatisation of 49 defence production units and forced merger of banks.

    “We expect participation of not less than 25 crores of working people. 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 statement further said.

    About 60 organisations of students and elected office-bearers of some universities have also decided to join the strike to protest against increased fee structure and commercialisation of education. Also, over 175 farmers and agricultural workers unions will extend its support to workers’ demands and observe January 8 as Gramin Bharat Bandh along with their charter of demands.

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