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Bharat Bandh: Transport, banking services hit in Tamil Nadu, Telangana; over 100 detained in Chennai

PTI

Trains were stopped by protesters at a few places in Tamil Nadu and banking services in some public sector banks interrupted in Telangana but life largely remained unaffected Wednesday during the second day of the two-day nationwide stir called by 10 central trade unions. The unions are protesting the “anti-labour” policies of the Centre.

In Chennai, protests were held at Mount Road and Perambur and Guindy railway stations. The CITU’s Tamil Nadu president A Soundararajan along with over 100 protesters were detained for picketing trains at the Guindy railway station, police said.

The protesters jostled with police, who tried to remove the agitators from the station premises. “We have been detained and now kept at Guindy Race Course,” Soundararajan told PTI, adding that across the state protests were held in over 70 places. Similar protests were held in front of Madurai railway station and near the old bus-stand in Thanjavur district and Tiruchirappalli station affecting movement of vehicles and rail traffic. Police said no incidents of violence were reported. Offices, commercial establishments and educational institutions functioned normally.

Barring interruption to banking services in some of the public sector banks, it was business as usual in Telangana Wednesday. Employees belonging to the All India Bank Employees Association (AIBEA) and Bank Employees Federation of India participated in the strike affecting banking transactions partially across the State, AIBEA national secretary B S Rambabu said.

He said clerical staff of all PSU banks except State Bank of India and Indian Overseas Bank participated in the strike on the second day also. “About 18000 employees belonging to the two unions participated in the strike on the second day.

All clerical staff took part in the strike. Though officers are working, transactions in many banks have come to a standstill…,” Rambabu told PTI. More than 22 lakh employees and workers of public, private and unorganised sectors in Telangana participated in the strike, Telangana CITU General secretary M Saibabu claimed. A senior official of the State-run Road Transport Corporation said lunch hour protests were held by some of its employees. Buses plied as the major trade union body Telangana Mazdoor Union decided to confine their protest to lunch hour demonstrations only, a State-run Road Transport Corporation official said. Schools in the state also functioned normally.

There was no impact of the strike on the IT industry in Hyderabad, Hyderabad Software Enterprises Association president Murali Bollu said in a message. According to the Tamil Nadu bank employees federation (BEFTN) general secretary C P Krishnan, members staged protests at 50 locations across the country as part of the two-day stir.

Banking operations of 85,000 public and private sector branches operating in Tamil Nadu and 25,000 cooperative society banks were affected during the strike, he said. Echoing similar views, All India Bank Employees’ Association general secretary CH Venkatachalam said bank employees during the protests highlighted their demands which included strengthening of public sector banks.