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Left strike hits train services in Mumbai

Last updated on: December 14, 2006 13:22 IST

Rail traffic in Mumbai was disrupted for sometime after agitators blocked trains at two stations in response to a nationwide strike by Left-affiliated trade unions on Thursday.

Trains were stopped at Andheri station at 10am for 15 minutes and also at Goregaon station during peak office hours as protestors blocked the rail lines.

Police later removed the agitators and the services were resumed, railway officials said.

However, trains are running behind schedule, they added.

Life also came to a standstill in Left Front-ruled West Bengal and Kerala on Thursday following a 24-hour nation-wide general strike called by left-affiliated trade unions against the United Progressive Alliance government's economic and industrial policies.

Roads in Kolkata were deserted with no public transport while shops and establishments were closed.

The nascent IT sector, given the status of a public utility, has not been exempted from the purview of the strike though the Communist Party of India-Marxist's labour body Centre of Indian Trade Unions has assured that there will be no picketing at the IT hub of Salt Lake sector five. The recently formed IT Services Association has said that it would not enforce the strike.

At a meeting convened by Webel of IT and ITeS companies on the eve of the strike, the industry was assured that special arrangements will be made so that employees were able to go to work and return safely. In a departure from earlier bandhs, airlines like Indian and Jet have cancelled their operations from the metropolis.

In Kerala, state-run and private bus services, trucks and taxis were off the roads since the strike began midnight. Employees belonging to Left unions in government services and education sector have also joined the strike.

No disruption in train movement, telecommunication services and power supply were reported from anywhere. Essential services like water supply, healthcare and media have been exempted from the strike. Also, vehicles carrying pilgrims to Sabarimala shrine, where the pilgrimage season is on, have been exempted.

No violence had been reported from any place and the police had made elaborate security arrangements throughout the state.
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