Strike by Left unions cripples life in Kerala

August 20th, 2008 - 1:30 pm ICT by IANS  

Kozhikode, Aug 20 (IANS) A nationwide 24-hour general strike called by Left trade unions protesting against rising food prices and central government policies crippled life in Kerala Wednesday. Road traffic was affected with most vehicles keeping off the roads. Train services were seriously affected with strike supporters blocking trains at various places.

In Kozhikode and Thiruvananthapuram, strikers started squatting on rail tracks from early in the day. The authorities cancelled or rescheduled many services.

According to officials, the railway’s Palakkad division cancelled 15 passenger trains in view of the strike. Hundreds were stranded as trains were stopped midway.

The protest did not affect flights. “Our operations are normal,” an official at the Kochi airport told IANS.

Shops and commercial establishments across the state did not open. Educational institutions were also closed.

Although the strike was largely peaceful, strike supporters stoned passing vehicles in some areas.

IT parks in Thiruvananthapuram and Kochi functioned normally.

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