More employees reported for duty on the second day of strike called by leftist unions of government employees and teachers, Home Minister Thiruvanchoor Radhakrishnan said here on Wednesday.
The Minister told a press conference that attendance had risen from about 62 per cent on Tuesday to around d 70 per cent on Wednesday. At the government Secretariat, 70.91 per cent of the employees reported for work while 92.37 per cent of the ministerial staff reported for duty at the police headquarters. The average attendance in other government offices across the State was 69.80 per cent.
Mr. Radhakrishnan said that leftish organisations were resorting to violence as the majority of the employees rejected their strike call. In many cases, outsiders were involved in violence against employees reporting for duty.
He said that the around 30 persons had blocked the way of employees Neena Rajan and Vijayalekshmi at the Public Office here. A leader of the NGO Union and five other union supporters had been arrested in this connection. The court had reprimanded and let them off. Four persons, who had blocked employees reporting for duty, had been arrested at Vikas Bhavan
A woman, employee who reported for work at the Irrigation (South) Office near PMG Junction had to be hospitalised as she fainted when strike supporters jostled her. Employee Sunil Kuimar, who reported for work at the Pallichal panchayat in Thiruvananthapuram district, was hospitalised when a gang led by another employee attacked him.
The police had to use tear gas to prevent a clash between the activists of the Kerala Students Union and the Student Federation of India. The Students Union was staging a symbolic protest against closure of some schools as teachers joined the strike.
Violence and blockades had been reported from Nedumangad, Kattakkada, Kottarakkara and Guruvayoor. An employee was injured when strike supporters stoned the PWD office at Kalpetta. As per reports reaching the State headquarters, 17 persons had been injured in attacks on Tuesday. Today, reports about injury to six persons had been received till 3 pm. The police had registered 1305 cases for violence and destruction of property and had taken 26 persons into custody.
Asked about the Opposition Leader V. S. Achuthanandan calling for conciliatory talks, the Minister said that the government was willing for talks with him if he had any new issue to raise. The government had already taken the initiative and held talks twice employees’ organisations.
He said that the strike would be fizzling out as had happened with the agitation demanding land for landless launched by the CPI (M) on January 1. While 15465 persons had participated in the agitation on January 1, the number of participants had dropped to 5376 on January 8.