Bharat Bandh: Mamata's threats go in vain, WB markets closed

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Mamata Banerjee
Kolkata, Feb 21: It seems that Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee's threats regarding taking actions against the supporters of Bharat Bandh on Feb 20 and Feb 21 went in vain. Overruling such threats, most of the shops, business organisations were closed in West Bengal on the first day of the 48-hour bandh.

People were not ready to open their shops during the bandh as they believe that they would face the wrath if they continue their daily businesses in the state despite a nation-wide strike, stated a shop owner.

Markets in several districts such as Cooch Behar, Jalpaiguri, 24 Parganas and many others witnessed complete shutdown. However, most shops, government offices were open in the state capital Kolkata. Few taxis and buses were plying.

The CM earlier had appealed to people to attend work like in a normal day and that she will guard against the strike. Government employees were informed that no leave would be sanctioned for the strike. The CM also had said that the government would compensate for the damage caused and would take actions against those who would miss the duty hours or fail to show a valid reason for the absence.

The nation has been observing a two-day-strike. Though it received a lukewarm response in most of the states. However, incidents of violence were reported in Noida where over 70 people were arrested so far.

The bandh has been called by 11 trade union bodies. The Bandh has been called against privatisation, outsourcing, violation of labour laws, and price rise.

Some of the trade unions, who are participating in the strike, are - Bharatiya Mazdoor Sangh (BMS), All India Trade Union Congress (AITUC), All India United Trade Union Centre (AIUTUC), Centre of Indian Trade Unions (CITU), Indian National Trade Union Congress (INTUC) and many others.

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