The strike, however, is largely peaceful.

Bharat Bandh hits Kerala Shops closed buses stay off the roads The otherwise busy wholesale market in Chalai in T'Puram, PC: Sreekesh Raveendran Nair
news Bharat Bandh Wednesday, January 08, 2020 - 13:26

The Bharat Bandh called by trade unions impacted several services in Kerala, with shops and other commercial establishments remaining closed while roads, railway stations and bus stations wore a deserted look.

Private buses stayed off the roads, while the Kerala State Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC) also didn’t operate services in several routes since trade unions took part in the strike. In some places, KSRTC services were stopped from 12 am on Wednesday.

In Thrissur, those who support the strike heckled employees of Infopark who came for work. In some places like Kannur they stopped vehicles. The bandh, however, didn't hit Techno Park, the IT park in Thiruvananthapuram. "Generally, hartals and strikes don't affect the functioning of Technopark as there is a convoy service for employees. This time too, the strike didn't affect the Technopark," an employee told TNM.

In Thiruvananthapuram, trade unions organised a huge rally from Palayam martyr’s column to the Secretariat. Representatives of all trade unions excluding the Bharath Mazdur Sangh took part in the rally. 

Minister for Devaswom and Toursim Kadakampally Surendran rode a two-wheeler to his office to express solidarity with the strike.

At Thiruvalla in Pathanamthitta district, the workers of CITU forcefully closed down branches of Bank of Baroda, Vijaya Bank and Federal Bank.

Supporters of the strike cooked kanji in front of the Press Club in Alappuzha.

The strike, however, is largely peaceful. In Kochi, almost all the shops remain closed. Public transport services have also been hit. But Kochi Metro services are plying uninterrupted. Ever since its inception, Kochi Metro has not stopped its service during hartals. But the lack of passengers affected the services with empty trains plying during peak hours.

The strike, however, has excluded Sabarimala pilgrims and the tourism sector.

The strike is being supported by All India Trade Union Congress (AITUC), Centre of Indian Trade Unions (CITU), Indian National Trade Union Congress (INTUC), Self Employed Women’s Association (SEWA) and Labour Progressive Federation (LPF).

The nationwide strike has been called for by ten central trade unions to protest against the government’s “anti-people” policies.  The trade unions participating are INTUC, AITUC, HMS, CITU, AIUTUC, TUCC, SEWA, AICCTU, LPF, UTUC along with various sectoral independent federations and associations. Around 25 crore people are reportedly participating in the strike across the country.

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