Sporadic violence during shutdown in Bengal

Kolkata, Sep 2 (IANS) The shutdown called by the trade unions against the central government’s economic measures on Wednesday evoked partial response in West Bengal amid reports of sporadic violence.

While educational institutions and commercial establishments largely remained closed, the city, public transport including buses and the metro railway operated normally. The number of commuters were less than usual.

The number of private buses and taxis were far less than normal.

Train services, both on the Eastern Railway and the South Eastern Railway, were hit after shutdown supporters blocked trains in several areas, said railway officials.

With the ruling Trinamool Congress vowing to foil the shutdown and the opposition Left Front asserting returning the fire, there were reports of clashes in Murshidabad, Howrah and North 24 Parganas. Vehicles were also vandalised in some areas.

While the train services remained largely unaffected, passengers had difficulty coming to and from Howrah and Sealdah Railway stations due to lack of taxis.

The countrywide strike has been called by trade unions and their affiliated labour organisations to press for increasing minimum wage to Rs.15,000, representation to unions in labour reform process and providing wages to contractual workers on par with regular workers.

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