Rail and road traffic was hit in several states, including Bengal, Odisha and Andhra, as a nationwide strike by ten trade unions began this morning against what they have called "anti-labour policies of the government, along with other issues".
The Centre of Indian Trade Unions is among the ten trade unions that have called for countrywide protests. Nine other trade unions, INTUC, AITUC, HMS, AIUTUC, TUCC, SEWA, AICCTU, LPF and UTUC, are also part of the strike, according to CITU.
In Bengal, train tracks were blocked by protesters in Howrah and Kanchrapara in North 24 Parganas district. The Left has accused Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee of doublespeak after the state government said it would not support the strike. In Odisha, the strike affected road and rail traffic in Talcher, Bhubaneswar, Brahmapur, Bhadrak and Kendujhargarh.
The government on Tuesday had warned central trade unions of "consequences" against the nationwide strike. "Any employee going on strike in any form would face the consequences which, besides deduction of wages, may also include appropriate disciplinary action," an order issued by the Ministry of Personnel said today. In its order the ministry said government servants were prohibited from participating in strikes or protests.
Here are the live updates on Bharat Bandh strike:
Bandh supporters and police clashed at kaliachak in Malda this afternoon when police tried to remove a road blockade on National Highway 34 that links Kolkata to Guwahati. Police had to use rubber bullets and tear gas to disperse the crowd which allegedly pelted them with stones.
In Tripura, local markets are shut, normal life has been affected amid shutdown call.
Chennai Police today detained protesters who were a part of the nationwide strike by trade unions. The ruling AIADMK is not supporting the Bandh call, while the opposition DMK supports the Bandh.
The Modi-Shah Govt's anti people, anti labour policies have created catastrophic unemployment & are weakening our PSUs to justify their sale to Modi's crony capitalist friends.- Rahul Gandhi (@RahulGandhi) January 8, 2020
Today, over 25 crore 🇮🇳workers have called for #BharatBandh2020 in protest.
I salute them.