TAMIL NADU

Normal life not hit, stir evokes little response

UNMANNED:Employment office in Madurai wearing a deserted look on Thursday. — Photo: S. James

UNMANNED:Employment office in Madurai wearing a deserted look on Thursday. — Photo: S. James  

Buses run as usual; banking, insurance operations paralysed; postal services in nine southern districts not affected

Madurai Bureau

DINDIGUL: About 3,000 persons were arrested when they attempted to picket roads at 45 places in the district as part of nationwide strike.

However, normal life was not hit since the strike evoked partial response. Buses were operated and State Government offices functioned as usual. Work was completely paralysed only in banks and insurance companies as almost all employees did not attend duty. Majority of Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited staff struck work but the BSNL office here functioned with skeleton staff. There was no disturbance to routine work in post offices as majority of employees attended the office.

Theni

About 1,050 persons were arrested when they attempted to picket roads at nine places in Theni district. Bandh was partial in the district and day-to-day life was not disturbed. Banks and insurance companies, however, did not function as usual. Many employees in Central Government offices did not attend duty.

Ramanathapuram

While State Government offices functioned with minimum staff, the strike was near total in almost all Central Government offices.

The police arrested 1,679 workers, including 31 women, of Communist Party of India and CPI (Marxist), who tried to picket buses at 11 places including Ramanathapuram, Rameswaram, Paramakudi and Muthukulathur.

Another 275 persons, including 84 women, were taken into custody for attempting to picket train at Ramanathapuram, Rameswaram and Paramakudi railway stations.

Of 1,977 employees in the Central Government offices in the district, 717 abstained from their workplaces. Police said that out of 15,105 State Government employees, 267 did not turn up for duty. However, some of them signed attendance register and went out without doing any work.

Operation of State-owned buses was not affected as most of the employees irrespective of their affiliation to trade unions attended work. There was no report of any untoward incidents in any part of the district.

Sivaganga

In Sivaganga district, the State Transport Corporation buses were plying as usual. Though buses were picketed at 13 places including Sivaganga, Karaikudi, Manamadurai and Thirupuvanam, there was no report of damage to any bus or disturbance to traffic. The police arrested 730 cadres, including 60 women, of the CPI and the CPI (M) for trying to block traffic. These cadres attempted to picket rail traffic at Manamadurai. However, the police took 148 cadres, including 38 women, into custody.

Out of nearly 17,000 State Government employees, 2,046 did not report for duty. Virudhunagar

Banking operations were paralysed in Virudhunagar district causing inconvenience to the trading community

While in the Central Government offices more than 50 per cent of the employees participated in the strike, only 16.8 per cent of the State Government staff responded to the call, according to police sources. However, essential services such as transport, electricity, milk and water supply were not affected. The Virudhunagar unit of the Tamil Nadu State Transport Corporation operated all its services though over 100 employees absented themselves from work.

The district police took into custody 831 members, including 226 women, belonging to the Communist Party of India (Marxist) when they tried to stage a dharna in six places in the district.

More than 50 per cent of members of the Tamil Nadu Government Employees Association and Tamil Nadu Government Employees Union and over 100 teachers affiliated to the Madurai Kamaraj and Manonmaniam Sundaranar University Teachers Association participated in the strike. Most of the staff in the Revenue Department absented themselves from work.

Postal services

Postal services in the nine southern districts were not affected, according to the Director of Postal Services, K. Balasubramanian. Sixty one per cent of the officers and 50 per cent of the staff turned up for duty. Essential services such as Speed Post were normal.

"We were able to take up delivery of mail with the available staff strength," he said.

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