Trade Union Strike Hits Life in Punjab as Thousands Take to Streets, Evokes Mixed Response in Haryana
In Himachal Pradesh, mild protests took place in Baddi (Solan), Hamirpur and Shimla. Workers of the CPI-backed Centre of Indian Trade Union braved the chill in Shimla and protested against the union government amid heavy snowfall.
Members of several trade unions took to streets to protest against the Union government in Chandigarh. (News18)
Chandigarh: Trade unions brought life to a standstill in Punjab on Wednesday as thousands of protesters laid siege to railway tracks, national highways and other major road networks in the state.
As part of the nationwide 24-hour strike thousands, came on to the rail tracks and blocked traffic in various parts of the state and protested against the Centre’s ‘anti-people’ policies.
The Delhi-Amritsar rail route was blocked at various places in Mansa, Ludhiana and Amritsar. The Delhi-Amritsar Shatabdi Express had to be stopped at Doraha in Ludhiana as a precautionary measure. Trains started moving on the stretch after three hours.
In Patiala, anganwadi workers blocked the Patiala-Hisar highway and Sirhind road, while in Bhawanigarh, protesters blocked the Sangrur-Chandigarh main road.
Members of several trade unions held demonstrations near the mini secretariat in Ludhiana. The strikers blocked the Gandhi Chowk in Batala and dharnas were staged in Malerkotla and Moga. Many farm unions too lent their support to the strike and blocked the in Barnala that connects the city, Bathinda, Mansa and other districts to Ludhiana.
Members of farm unions and women’s organisations backed by the Communist Party of India staged a sit-in on the Fazilka-Ferozepur highway in Fazilka. In Samana, anganwadi workers blocked the Samana-Patiala-Hisar highway for several hours.
In Bhawanigarh, farmers blocked the Sangrur-Chandigarh highway and raised slogans against the Union government. Traffic was disrupted on the Kotkapura road in Moga for two hours following another such blockade.
In Mansa, daily supplies were hit with shops and commercial establishments remaining closed for the day.
There were reports of some protesters forcibly sending government employees, who were going to their offices, back home from the roads. College and university students too had a tough time reaching their examination centres.
In Patiala, some student organisations came out in support of the trade unions who tried to enter the Punjabi University. However, the authorities shut the main =gate to prevent agitators from entering the campus.
The Punjab Police had made adequate security arrangements to avoid any untoward situation in the wake of the protests with large deployments in Faridkot, Pathankot, Talwandi Sabo, Ludhiana, Amritsar, Mansa, Bathinda and Barnala.
The strike evoked a mixed response in Haryana with protests taking place in Sirsa, Bhiwani and Bhadurgarh. Traffic plied normally on routes like Kurukshetra, Kaithal, Jind, Gurugram and Sonipat. Sirsa, however, saw angry protesters in large numbers coming on to the roads.
Meanwhile, the state roadways had issued notices to all its unions to take part in the strike. No reports of violence or any untoward incident were reported from the state.
In Himachal Pradesh, mild protests took place in Baddi (Solan), Hamirpur and Shimla. Workers of the CPI-backed Centre of Indian Trade Union braved the chill in Shimla and agitated against the union government amid heavy snowfall.
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