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Trade union strike: Banks and public transport hit, one killed

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Trade union strike: Banks and public transport hit, one killed
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New Delhi: The strike call by Central trade unions hit normal life Wednesday as workers from varied sectors, including transport and banking, refrained from work, to register protest against government's economic and labour policies.

Normal banking operations were hit as employees of public sector banks went on a two-day strike in response to a call given by central trade unions to press for wage hike in the backdrop of rising inflation.

Protests during the two-day nationwide trade union strike on Wednesday turned violent in Noida as protesters pelted stones at factories and set seven to eight vehicles on fire. Police resorted to lathicharge as hundreds of factory workers clashed with security personnel in Noida Phase

The nation-wide strike call has been given by United Forum of Bank Unions (UFBU), consisting of nine national level unions, including AIBEA, NCBE, BEFI, INBEF, NOBW and AIBOC.

A trade union leader, who was squatting along with a group of workers near the local bus depot as part of the two-day nationwide strike call, Wednesday died when he was hit by a bus in his bid to stop it from plying, a senior Roadways official said here.

Strike hits Himachal hotels, banks, offices

Banks and commercial establishments were closed across Himachal Pradesh Wednesday as employees joined the two-day nationwide strike called by major trade unions.

Most of the private hotels, banks and state government departments were shut, as employees struck work for the day.

Rail and road traffic in the state, however, was unaffected.

"There is a complete shutdown in private hotels, hydropower projects and various central and state government departments in the state," Jagat Ram, state president of the Centre of Indian Trade Unions (CITU), told IANS.

CITU is affiliated to the Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M).

Employees of more than 18,000 'anganwari' (child day-care) centres also joined the strike. Employees unions of the state irrigation, public health, and public works departments also participated in the strike.

There is no report of any violence in the state, an official at the police headquarters here said.

Strike hits normal life in Bihar

Normal life was hit in Bihar Wednesday, the first day of the two-day nationwide strike called by major trade unions to press for various demands, officials said.

The strike evoked a near-total response in the state as shops and other business establishments downed their shutters, and trains and road services were disrupted by activists affiliated to various trade unions, particularly those affiliated to Left parties.

In Patna, most of the shops, markets and other business establishments remained closed. Roads were deserted as autorickshaws and other vehicles stayed away.

Similar reports were coming from Gaya, Bhagalpur, Muzaffarpur and other district towns.

The state government has postponed the Class 12 examinations scheduled for Feb 20 and 21 in view of the strike. Officials said the exams will now be conducted in the first week of March. The change in the exam schedule will affect more than 800,000 students in the state.

Thousands of people were stranded across Bihar early Wednesday as trains were stopped and key highways blocked by activists affiliated to various trade unions that have called for a nationwide two-day strike.

Workers of trade unions stopped nearly a dozen passenger and long-distance trains at Patna, Gaya, Jehanabad, Hajipur, Bhagalpur, Bihar Sharif, Barauni and Darbhanga railway stations.

Strike hits trade between Tripura, Bangladesh

Trade between Tripura and Bangladesh was hit Wednesday as central trade unions commenced their two-day country wide strike, an official here said.

"Trade was badly affected as hundreds of trucks were stranded on either side of the Akhaurah checkpost and other LCS (land customs stations) in Tripura due to the shutdown," a customs official here said.

"Over 200 trucks filled with Bangladeshi goods have been stranded on the other side of the border and are unable to cross the Akhaurah LCS in view of the strike in Tripura," the official added.

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