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Good response to strike on Day 2

Special Correspondent
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Banking services in Puducherry paralysed; police take hundreds into custody

More than 80 per cent of shops and business establishments in Puducherry remained closed on Thursday.— Photo: T.Singaravelou
More than 80 per cent of shops and business establishments in Puducherry remained closed on Thursday.— Photo: T.Singaravelou

The second day of the nationwide strike by trade unions protesting anti-people economic policies of the Centre evoked good response among traders and employees of banks and Central government establishments here on Thursday.

More than 80 per cent of the shops and business establishments were closed in support of the strike. Usual buzz was absent in the important business streets such as Jawaharlal Nehru street, Mahatma Gandhi street, Anna Salai, Kamaraj Road and others.

The Coubert vegetable market also did not transact any business. This was in contrast to Wednesday when the commercial activity was much better.

Traders, merchants, auto-riskshaw operators, workers, bank employees, BSNL staff members and others owing allegiance to CITU, AITUC, LPF, INTUC, Bharatiya Mazdoor Sangh and other unions participated in the strike.

Banking services in Puducherry was paralysed due to the near total participation of employees in the strike. Members of various trade unions staged demonstrations at 11 places including Rajiv Gandhi square, Indira Gandhi square, Sivaji Statue, Anna Statue, Villianur and others, pressing 10-point charter of demands. Police took more than 500 members into custody when they tried to block traffic in different places. However, schools and colleges functioned as usual.

Life better in

Cuddalore, Villupuram

Except banking services, all other services functioned normally in Cuddalore and Villupuram districts on Thursday.

About 1,000 people who tried to obstruct rail and road traffic were rounded up by the police. Certain private scheduled banks functioned with skeletal staff and yet cheque transactions could not take place for want of centralized clearance facility. Educational institutions recorded full attendance and shops and establishments did normal business.

Members affiliated to the All India State Governments Employees’ Confederation led by its general secretary K. Balasubramanian staged a demonstration in front of the Collectorate decrying the anti-people policies of the Centre.

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