Services hit

Staff Correspondent

SHIMLA: Essential services in various nationalised banks, post offices and insurance companies remained suspended in Himachal Pradesh on Thursday in response to the strike call issued by various trade unions.

The major trade union in the State, the CPI (M)-affiliated Centre of Indian Trade Unions, claimed that a complete strike was observed during the day in Shimla, Solan, Kullu, Sirmaur, Mandi, Kinnaur, Kangra, Bilaspur, Hamirpur and Chamba districts affecting hydro-electric power projects, anganwadi centres, industrial units, hotels and restaurants.

The Hotel Mazdoor Lal Jhanda Union and Construction Workers' Union here in the Capital staged dharnas and observed a complete strike with the help of Students' Federation of India activists who also boycotted their classes in various educational institutions in the town.

The workers gathered at the local Panchayat Bhavan in the morning and after marching through the major streets staged a rally in the afternoon. The liberalisation and privatisation policies of the Government were sharply criticised by various speakers.

The United Forum of Bank Unions also staged a protest outside the State Bank of India office in Shimla and criticised the foreign equity in private and public sector banks.

The BSNL and Income Tax office employees in the State also observed strike and paralysed work.

On the other hand, the State Government offices, schools and business establishments remained open and there were no reports of any untoward incident from any part of the State. Official sources said road and railway traffic remained unaffected.

A report from Kangra district said the only scheduled flight of Jackson Airlines landed and took off from Kangra airport on time. No employee of the Airports Authority of India (AAI) participated in the strike, said a senior Aerodrome Officer.

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