Supplyco office at Gandhi Nagar ransacked; cases registered against 150
Blockade of private vehicles, incidents of stone throwing, and sporadic violence marked the second day of the 48-hour general strike called by trade unions that ended on Thursday midnight.
As on the first day of the strike, the supporters of the strike stopped private vehicles at many points in the city and its suburbs. The windshield of a car parked at a petrol pump on M.G. Road was broken by supporters of strike while another parked car was attacked at Palarivattom.
The Mulavukad police arrested eight persons, including two panchayat members, for laying siege to the Container Terminal Road before releasing them on bail.
Tension prevailed at Kakkanad after the police took into custody two persons for stoning the windshield of a car on Seaport-Airport Road. The protesters accused the Thrikkakara police of manhandling the activists taken into custody and staged a sit-in on the road.
The teams of the Santosh Trophy matches were put to hardship as they had to walk their way to their practice sessions. The Bengal team had to walk all the way from a hotel at North to the Jawaharlal Nehru International Stadium. The Railways, Jammu and Kashmir, and Kerala teams also had to walk carrying their football gear.
In Mukkannoor, near Angamaly, the protesters manhandled a car passenger who was on his way to a relative’s home in connection with a death. He ended up with a torn shirt and broken chain. His mother, a heart patient, was inside the car. There were unconfirmed reports that used engine oil was poured on an employee on his way to Infopark.
Supporters of the strike broke the glass of the Supplyco head office at Gandhi Nagar. Some of them barged inside and ransacked the office. The Kadavanthra police have registered a case against 150 persons who can be identified by sight in this connection. A woman employee sustained minor injuries in the incident.
The shooting of a Malayalam film was stopped by the supporters of the strike at Kalamassery
Eight employees of the Muvattupuzha municipal office who tried to leave the office after signing the attendance register were stopped by the protesters. They locked the gate, demanding that the employees remain in the office till the office hours are over since they had signed the register. In another incident in the municipality, protesters barged into the mini civil station before police arrived and got things under control.
Faculty members and other staff of the Ramamangalam Government High School were stopped from leaving the school after they signed the attendance register.
Stones were thrown at a media firm’s vehicle carrying newspapers near Aluva garage in the early hours of Thursday. Tyres of two bullet tankers carrying LPG to the IOC bottling plant at Udayamperur were deflated at Tripunithura.
Poor attendance was recorded in government offices and PSUs for the second day running. Infopark recorded attendance of 35 per cent as many companies chose to give the employees the option to work from their houses. Besides, companies have decided to work on Saturday and Sunday. Earlier in the day, Infopark employees came to work in police convoy.
In the district collectorate, only 70 of the 180 employees turned up whereas only 300 of the 1,800 employees in 70 offices in the civil station reported for duty on Thursday.
The strike has been total in the banking sector, paralysing cash transactions and clearing of cheques.
Unions claim success
A joint statement issued by various trade unions claimed that the strike called by them was an unprecedented success in the district while thanking the workers and the general public for their cooperation.
No untoward incident had been reported from anywhere in the district, the statement claimed.
The strike was complete in Kochi airport, Infopark, FACT, Cochin Port Trust, Kochi Refineries, HMT, HOC, IRE, TCC, Traco thanks to the participation of employees. Employees of private industries also participated wholeheartedly in the strike, they said.