Left trade unions-sponsored strike registers total impact

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Agartala, Aug 20 (UNI) The 24-hour industrial strike, called by the Left trade unions today, brought Tripura to a grinding halt and disrupted road as well as air traffic completely.

However, there were no reports of picketing from any part of the state as very few private vehicles and peddle rickshaws plied on the roads.

All the Agartala-Kolkata flights were cancelled while only one 50-seater ATR flight operated in the Guwahati-Silchar-Agartala-Guwahati sector.

All the other seven flights, including that of Air India, to and from Agartala could not operate owing to the strike by airport employees, police said.

Besides, no public transport or passenger carrier, including the Agartala-Dhaka bus, functioned.

Business establishments, educational institutions and other government offices, except emergency services, remained closed in protest against surging inflation and the Centre's ''anti-people'' economic policies.

About 2,000 additional policemen and paramilitary personnel were deployed in the sensitive locations of the state to maintain law and order while about 50 picketeers from different parts of the state had reportedly been arrested so far.

Left trade union CITU leaders here claimed that hundreds of central government workers from the Post and Telegraph department, BSNL and other organisations observed the strike, protesting against ''unfair'' economic practices, privatisation initiatives of public enterprises and the Indo-US nuclear deal.

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