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Strike cripples life in State

By Staff Reporter

GUWAHATI, Sept 7 � The nationwide strike called by different central trade unions and worker-employees' federations of government as well as non-government industries and enterprises crippled normal life in the State along with the rest of the country.

The strike was called by the trade unions in protest against the Government's failure to check the unprecedented rise in the prices of essential commodities, foodstuff in particular, besides its 'anti-labour' policies.

Police arrested hundreds of protestors from different parts of the State as they blocked roads and railway tracks in a bid to enforce the strike. According to a statement from the Centre of Indian Trade Union (CITU), Assam State Committee, over 2,000 volunteers were arrested in the State during the protest which was a 'total success.' It added that workers of all Central PSUs including OIL, ONGC, Jagiroad Paper Mill, Coal India Ltd, Margherita, etc., took part in the stir, paralyzing normal functioning.

The city too bore the impact of the strike, with commercial vehicles remaining off the road and industries and enterprises downing their shutters or functioning with a skeletal staff. Banks and financial institutions experienced a similar situation. Educational institutions, too, remained by and large closed while attendance was minimal in government offices. Most shops, however, continued to do business as usual in the city.

While Air India flights operated as per schedule, several private operators including Jet, Indigo and Spice Jet cancelled all their Guwahati-Kolkata flights, an official at the LGB International Airport said.

Railway services experienced disruption at places, with picketers staging demonstrations on railway tracks. Police had to remove the protesters for resuming movement of the trains.

The city wore a deserted look since morning with only a few private vehicles plying. Towards afternoon, however, private vehicles were seen plying in good numbers. The Inter-State Bus Terminus at Boragaon came to a standstill with all long-distance buses ceasing to operate. Short-distance buses too were conspicuous by their absence. City buses, both private and Assam State Transport Corporation (ASTC)-run, remained off the road but autorickshaws continued to operate in large numbers and a few trekkers were also seen plying.

In some locations of the city, protesters staged road blockades for preventing vehicular movement. In one incident, an ASTC-run 'deluxe' city bus was stopped by agitating ASTC employees who alleged that the ASTC authorities tried to run the bus by using private operators. Some people damaged the bus by throwing stones and police later arrested several ASTC employees in this connection. The employees' union decried the police action, denying their involvement in the incident.

At Basistha also, police arrested some picketers for blocking the road.

The All India Road Transport Workers' Federation, Assam branch, in a statement, thanked the people for making the strike a success.

Our Correspondents add:

Rangiya: Hundreds of picketers led by local MLA Ananta Deka blocked the Up Manas Rhino passenger train for two hours at the Rangiya Railway Station, shouting slogans against price rise. Police later arrested the demonstrators and facilitated train movement. The NH-31 and the Rangiya-Bhutan Road wore a stranded look while business establishments, educational institutions remained closed. Attendance in government offices was almost nil. No untoward incident was reported till the filing of the report.

Digboi: The bandh call given by trade unions affected normal life throughout Margherita subdivision. The impact was total at Digboi with all banks, LIC office, shops, business establishments and majority of the educational institutions remaining closed. The Digboi Refinery continued its refining process with a slender staff, and attendance in the general office of IOCL (AOD) was well below normal till 10 am. There were picketers of various unions and organizations including CITU and Viswa Hindu Parishad at the entrance of the office. The VHP put up a road blockade on the NH-38 near Tingari. The office of the Eastern Producing Fields of OIUL at Digboi remained closed.

At Margherita, the NECF office and all the collieries remained closed. Banks, educational institutions, all the plywood industries, business houses and majority of the shops had their shutters down. Buses and vehicles except a few private vehicles were off the roads adding to the woes of the commuters. The SDO (Civil) office functioned normally.

Throughout the subdivision, the tea gardens continued with their normal functioning including normal running of the factories. According to a CITU source, this was due mainly to the distance maintained by the ACMS from the CITU.

Sivasagar: The strike call by the Central trade unions, supported by various workers bodies and the public here had a total affect. Public vehicles were off the roads and the business houses were closed and most of the educational institutions were closed due to poor attendance. Works in major PSUs ONGC and GAIL were paralyzed due to the strike

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Strike cripples life in State

GUWAHATI, Sept 7 � The nationwide strike called by different central trade unions and worker-employees' federations of government as well as non-government industries and enterprises crippled normal life in the State along with the rest of the country.

The strike was called by the trade unions in protest against the Government's failure to check the unprecedented rise in the prices of essential commodities, foodstuff in particular, besides its 'anti-labour' policies.

Police arrested hundreds of protestors from different parts of the State as they blocked roads and railway tracks in a bid to enforce the strike. According to a statement from the Centre of Indian Trade Union (CITU), Assam State Committee, over 2,000 volunteers were arrested in the State during the protest which was a 'total success.' It added that workers of all Central PSUs including OIL, ONGC, Jagiroad Paper Mill, Coal India Ltd, Margherita, etc., took part in the stir, paralyzing normal functioning.

The city too bore the impact of the strike, with commercial vehicles remaining off the road and industries and enterprises downing their shutters or functioning with a skeletal staff. Banks and financial institutions experienced a similar situation. Educational institutions, too, remained by and large closed while attendance was minimal in government offices. Most shops, however, continued to do business as usual in the city.

While Air India flights operated as per schedule, several private operators including Jet, Indigo and Spice Jet cancelled all their Guwahati-Kolkata flights, an official at the LGB International Airport said.

Railway services experienced disruption at places, with picketers staging demonstrations on railway tracks. Police had to remove the protesters for resuming movement of the trains.

The city wore a deserted look since morning with only a few private vehicles plying. Towards afternoon, however, private vehicles were seen plying in good numbers. The Inter-State Bus Terminus at Boragaon came to a standstill with all long-distance buses ceasing to operate. Short-distance buses too were conspicuous by their absence. City buses, both private and Assam State Transport Corporation (ASTC)-run, remained off the road but autorickshaws continued to operate in large numbers and a few trekkers were also seen plying.

In some locations of the city, protesters staged road blockades for preventing vehicular movement. In one incident, an ASTC-run 'deluxe' city bus was stopped by agitating ASTC employees who alleged that the ASTC authorities tried to run the bus by using private operators. Some people damaged the bus by throwing stones and police later arrested several ASTC employees in this connection. The employees' union decried the police action, denying their involvement in the incident.

At Basistha also, police arrested some picketers for blocking the road.

The All India Road Transport Workers' Federation, Assam branch, in a statement, thanked the people for making the strike a success.

Our Correspondents add:

Rangiya: Hundreds of picketers led by local MLA Ananta Deka blocked the Up Manas Rhino passenger train for two hours at the Rangiya Railway Station, shouting slogans against price rise. Police later arrested the demonstrators and facilitated train movement. The NH-31 and the Rangiya-Bhutan Road wore a stranded look while business establishments, educational institutions remained closed. Attendance in government offices was almost nil. No untoward incident was reported till the filing of the report.

Digboi: The bandh call given by trade unions affected normal life throughout Margherita subdivision. The impact was total at Digboi with all banks, LIC office, shops, business establishments and majority of the educational institutions remaining closed. The Digboi Refinery continued its refining process with a slender staff, and attendance in the general office of IOCL (AOD) was well below normal till 10 am. There were picketers of various unions and organizations including CITU and Viswa Hindu Parishad at the entrance of the office. The VHP put up a road blockade on the NH-38 near Tingari. The office of the Eastern Producing Fields of OIUL at Digboi remained closed.

At Margherita, the NECF office and all the collieries remained closed. Banks, educational institutions, all the plywood industries, business houses and majority of the shops had their shutters down. Buses and vehicles except a few private vehicles were off the roads adding to the woes of the commuters. The SDO (Civil) office functioned normally.

Throughout the subdivision, the tea gardens continued with their normal functioning including normal running of the factories. According to a CITU source, this was due mainly to the distance maintained by the ACMS from the CITU.

Sivasagar: The strike call by the Central trade unions, supported by various workers bodies and the public here had a total affect. Public vehicles were off the roads and the business houses were closed and most of the educational institutions were closed due to poor attendance. Works in major PSUs ONGC and GAIL were paralyzed due to the strike