The two-day all-India general strike call given by a joint action committee of the Central trade unions against the price rise and alleged anti-people policies of the Union government evoked good response in Kolar district on the first day on Wednesday. In fact, the strike by the trade unions turned out to be a bandh in most parts of the district.

According to reports reaching here, the bandh was total and by and large peaceful in Bangarpet, Mulbagal, Malur, Srinivaspur, Kolar Gold Fields and the district headquarters, Kolar.

Karnataka State Road Transport Corporation and private buses did not ply and most of the autorickshawas were off the roads. As buses were lined up in the depot, the KSRTC Bus Stand wore a deserted look. Bank, LIC and post offices remained closed. Schools and colleges did not function as a holiday was declared for them as a precautionary measure. Traders downed shutters to express anger against FDI in retail, contributing largely to the success of bandh.

Activities at the Agricultural Produce Marketing Committee yard here were also affected due to the strike.

Under the banner of Centre of Indian Trade Unions (CITU), workers belonging to various sectors, including anganwadis, construction, beedi rolling and transportation, participated in the strike. Attendance was thin in government offices.

A large number of strike supporters took out processions in Kolar, Bangarpet, KGF, Srinivaspur and Malur.

At the district centre, CITU functionaries staged demonstrations in front of different government offices and appealed to the employees to join the action by the working class.

Various progressive outfits such as SFI, DYFI and Karnataka Prantha Raitha Sangha too participated in the strike.

BEML work hit

Work at the KGF unit of Bharat Earth Movers Ltd. came to a grinding halt as the staff did not come to work, BEM Employees Association (BEMEA) said. “Regularisation of services of contract workers was one of the major demands,” BEMEA general secretary A.R. Babu told The Hindu.

“BEMEA is demanding that the government take steps to procure orders for BEML at KGF for its survival,” Mr. Babu added.

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