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Live: Strike to hit production at Hero, Maruti, Suzuki; 14 arrested in Noida

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Feb 20, 2013 at 05:39pm IST

New Delhi: 5:43 pm: The Noida police have arrested 14 people in connection with the violence during the trade union strike.

5:35 pm: Production at leading automobile companies in the Gurgaon-Manesar belt, including Maruti Suzuki, Hero MotoCorp and Suzuki Motorcycle India, will be hit on Thursday as workers have decided to stay away from work in support of the two-day strike called by central trade unions that began on Wednesday.

4:30 pm: The administration has ordered a joint magisterial inquiry into the violence in Noida, and has also decided to assess the financial damage that has been caused by the protestors. According to DM MK Sundaram, they did not expect such huge unruly mob. Terming the violence as unfortunate, he said that the situation had been brought under control.

Meanwhile, Noida SSP Shalabh Mathur said seven people had been arrested. He further said that the police had no input that such huge mob would come out to protest.

2:54 pm: West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee said the bandh called by trade unions did not affect her state. "People of Bengal have rejected the bandh. Work culture has been restored in Bengal. There is 100 per cent attendance in state government offices," Mamata said.

2:05 pm: The violence has ended and the situation is now under control. Noida police say a demonstration by CPM trade union workers turned violent when the management did not come out to speak to them. They're agitating for an increase in wages. At least five vehicles were damaged in the violence in which a few policemen were also injured.

1:58 pm: A witness to the violence in Noida, who works in the factory that got damaged, said, "The protestors came at the gate and wanted us to shut office. They broke glasses with bricks and stones."

1:14 pm: There were reports of violence in Noida Phase-II. Over 1,000 trade union workers protested and vandalised cars, setting vehicles on fire.

12:50 pm: In Gujarat, 8,500 government buses were off roads and banks remained shut. In Rajasthan, buses and autos remained off the roads while banking and insurance sectors were also hit.

12:25 pm: In Uttar Pradesh, over 7,000 buses were off roads due to the strike. In Noida Phase-II, protestors burned cars during their agitation.

12:09 pm: The strike partially disrupted industrial work and banking services in Jharkhand. "Barring Argada and Jari collieries in Hazaribagh district, other collieries of the Central Coalfields Limited have been functioning normally. There is 90 per cent coal production in the collieries," CCL Manager (Public Relations) Deepak Kumar claimed.

However, CITU's Jharkhand Chapter General Secretary DD Ramanandan claimed that loading, unloading and production of coal at various collieries under the CCL and the BCCL were affected as labour force joined the strike demanding controlling price, strict implementation of labour laws and other demands.

11:33 am: In Madhya Pradesh, banks were worst hit by the trade unions' strike.

11:25 am: CPI leader Gurudas Dasgupta called the trade unions' strike unprecedented and said the government had not tried to reach out to unions. "The strike across the country is unprecedented. Autos and taxis are off the roads. Bank, insurance, telecom is closed. All oil supply is being stopped in Delhi. Unfortunately, violence is being used. The treasurer of union of Haryana Roadways has been brutally murdered in Ambala," Dasgupta said.

"It is utter falsehood to say that government is trying to reach out to us. We had given the notice on September 4, 2012. The matter was raised in Parliament. In the Indian Labour Conference, the government did not speak to us. At the last moment, they wanted to start a discussion, but had not thing to offer," he added.

11:00 am: The Kerala government announced 'no work no pay' for all government employees supporting the trade unions' strike. In Chandigarh, local buses remained off roads.

10:24 am: Protestors in Odisha stopped trains during demonstrations over the trade unions' strike across India. Protestors also stopped trains in parts of Bihar.

10:14 am: Transport was hit in Kolkata by the trade unions' strike. The West Bengal government had urged people to continue with their daily lives. As a result many people were on the streets, but not enough cabs and other modes of transport.

Life wasn't hit as much in Assam as public transport was plying.

9:33 am: Left parties stage protests at Patna railway station. In Kolkata, there were helpline numbers for those facing inconvenience: 033-221440, 22145700.

In Lucknow, officials of the power sector also supported the strike.

9:00 am: Commuters have been hit in many parts of the country due to the trade unions' strike. Public transport services are off the roads in many states. The maximum impact is in Kerala where banks and shops are shut and taxis, autos, private and public buses are not running.

In West Bengal, commuters are facing problems at Sealdah and Howrah stations and at the airport. Private educational institutions are mostly closed, but shops and establishments are partially open. The bandh has impacted life in Bangalore, Punjab and Haryana as well. There's little impact in Mumbai.

It was a tragic start to the nationwide bandh in Haryana where a Haryana Roadways employee was killed in Ambala at the roadways depot when he was crushed by a bus following a confusion called over the trade union strike. Chaos broke out after the Haryana Roadways staff tried to stop officials from allowing the buses to move from the depot.

In the ensuing confusion, the cashier of the roadways came under a bus which led to his death.

Condemning the murder, AITUC General Secretary Gurudas Dasgupta said the strike would continue despite such a heinous attack. Apart from unions owing allegiance to the Left, the pro-Congress INTUC and pro-BJP BMS are also participating in the strike.

The unions have put forward a charter of 10 demands such as urgent steps to control price rise, strict enforcement of labour laws in all places of work, social security net for workers in the unorganised sector, end to disinvestment in PSUs and raising minimum wage to Rs 10,000 a month.

Tweets: Bharat Bandh

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