Traffic blocked, bank branches forcibly closed in Kerala

Our Bureau Thiruvananthapuram | Updated on January 08, 2020 Published on January 08, 2020

Normal life has been disrupted in Kerala as the 24-hour all-India strike called by trade unions took effect, with vehicles being blocked at many places in the State and banks being forcibly closed down at a few places.

Reports from the commercial hub of Kochi said that the city’s metro stations, which are normally busy, are running largely empty due to the strike.

Employees of the public sector Kerala State Road Transport Corporation have joined the strike, while the tourism sector, as a whole, and pilgrims bound for the Sabarimala temple have been exempted.

JEE-Main tests are also proceeding without any interference, reports suggested.

At Thiruvalla in central Kerala, activists forced the closure of branches of Federal Bank, Bank of Baroda and Vijaya Bank.

Trade and commercial establishments in the state have resolved to keep open, a statement from the T Naziruddeen, President of the Kerala Vyapara Vyavasaya Ekopana Samithi, said. He had sought police protection for trade and commercial outlets that are open.

At a number of places, trade union activists took out processions and blocked traffic. The police have been pressed into service at such places, and no untoward incident has been reported till noon.

Maximum response in Kerala

The unions expect the day-long strike to generate maximum response in the Left Democratic Front-ruled state.

Vehicular traffic has been reduced in many places, while most shops and business establishments remain closed. But the Kerala Travel Mart (KTM) Society hailed as exemplary the decision by political parties and trade unions to exempt the state's tourism sector from the general strike.

Earlier, ten Central trade unions — INTUC, AITUC, HMS, CITU, AIUTUC, TUCC, SEWA, AICCTU, LPF, UTUC — along with various sectoral independent federations and associations had announced the strike against the ‘anti-people’ policies of the BJP-led NDA government at the Centre.

Banking, transport and other services are likely to be hit with public sector banks like Bank of Baroda, Canara Bank, Syndicate Bank amongst the most affected. Services such as deposit and withdrawal, cheque clearing and instrument issuance are expected to be impacted, though these services at private sector banks are not. Several banks have already informed stock exchanges about the strike and its impact on banking services.

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Published on January 08, 2020
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