Trade strike largely ineffective in Bengal, school children hurt

Kolkata: Police takes away Trade Union members staging a demonstration on the second day of the two-day long nationwide strike called against the "anti-labour, anti-people and anti-national policies" of the Narendra Modi-led Central Government, in Kolkata on Jan 9, 2019.

Kolkata,  A few school children were injured in stone pelting in Kolkata on Wednesday as sporadic incidents of vandalism marked the second day of the central trade unions-sponsored 48-hour nationwide strike in Bengal.

Public transport services, including road, rail and waterways remained largely unaffected by the strike while attendance in government-run schools, colleges and offices were also normal.

Some school children were injured after strike supporters allegedly hurled stones at their pool car on the way to school in Kolkata’s Rajabazar area.

The students were released from local hospital after first aid but some of them were in a traumatised condition.

Police have arrested some people in the incident.

After Tuesday, a number of Left leaders, including CPI-M leader Sujan Chakraborty, were again detained by the police on Wednesday morning while picketing in south Kolkata’s Jadavpur area.

A few trains, including the Howrah-Puri Satabdi Express, however, had to be cancelled, an official said.

Train services were also briefly halted on the Sealdah-Habra line after a number of crude bombs were found along the railway track near North 24 Pargana district’s Habra area.

The protestors allegedly ransacked a public bus in Cooch Behar’s Dinhata area.

Another bus was vandalised in Howrah district’s Dasnagar where two school children sustained minor injuries.

Elaborate security arrangements across the cities and districts in Bengal stopped the normal life from being halted.

Left activists and members of the trade unions staged several rallies across the state including north Kolkata’s Shyambazar.

Another group of protesters clashed with the police near Howrah’s Bally.

Reacting to the two-day strike, CITU state president Subhas Mukherjee claimed that the strike was a success in Bengal despite the Trinamool Congress government’s “desperate attempts” to resist the agitators.

“The strike has been successful. A number of major industries were closed or seen low attendance by the workers. The Trinamool Congress government used its police force and party-backed goons to foil the strike, but people of Bengal supported it spontaneously,” Mukherjee said.

Trinamool Congress, however, termed the strike as a complete failure and said people of Bengal have rejected the culture of strike as they are happy with the developmental works in the state under the leadership of Mamata Banerjee.