Many instances of clashes between strike supporters and others

Striking government employees caused service delivery to the public to come to a standstill at most offices in the district on Wednesday, the second day of their indefinite boycott of work.

A majority of teachers of State-owned schools and colleges also shunned duty.

The protesters assembled in front of government offices and prevented colleagues who reported for work from occupying their stations.

Their actions led to clashes between them and members of the pro-government service organisations and students’ unions.

The Secretariat, the hub of State administration, became a strife zone when striking employees and their pro-government colleagues threw stones and sticks at each other. The police had to use force to disperse the Kerala Students Union activists who tried to break up a protest march of striking government employees in front of the Secretariat.

The Left youth and student organisations had also mustered themselves in strength in front of the government offices to support the striking employees. They intimidated, and sometimes, illegally detained, those who reported for work.

The situation the strike had precipitated in the district was most evident in front of the Public Office. The protesters blocked the road and one of them, a district-level office-bearer of a Left-wing service organisation, prevented two women employees from entering the office. Employees who opposed the strike violently objected to his actions, resulting in a fist fight.

At their instance, one of the women filed a complaint at the local station. The police who tried to arrest the union leader met with stiff resistance from the strike supporters.

Four held

At Vikas Bhavan, the police arrested four strike supporters who allegedly prevented their colleagues from entering the office. Innumerable minor clashes broke out between the protesters and pro-government employees at sporadic intervals in different corners of the large facility.

Similar scenes of discord were reported from the Revenue office in Nedumangadu taluk.

Strike supporters allegedly assaulted a woman employee at the Irrigation Department’s local office near P.M.G. and another employee at a Forest Department facility at Nedumangadu.

The government claimed that at least 70 per cent of its employees had reported for work in the State.