Left unions’ strike state sponsored: Oomen Chandy (Lead)August 20th, 2008 - 8:53 pm ICT by IANS
Thiruvananthapuram, Aug 20 (IANS) Leader of the opposition in Kerala assembly Oommen Chandy Wednesday lashed out against the V.S. Achuthanandan government for giving “full protection to hooligans” during the nationwide general strike called by Left trade unions against rising food prices and the India-US nuclear deal.”Never before has such irresponsible attitude by the police taken place in the state. The police gave full protection to those who stopped trains. Hooligans attacked several people all across the state who came for work. The media also came under severe attack at many places,” Chandy told reporters here.
Most vehicles kept off the roads. Twenty two trains in Palakkad and Thiruvananthapuram divisions were cancelled, while several trains were delayed with the strikers blocking tracks at various places. Hundreds were affected as train services were hit.
In Kozhikode and Thiruvananthapuram, agitators started squatting on rail tracks from early in the day.
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.
“For the first time last (Tuesday) evening a police official wrote to the Technopark authorities asking them to direct IT companies to see that no one works after 10 p.m. because they sensed trouble. Today (Wednesday) morning the protesters cordoned off the main gate of the IT campus.
“Such a thing has never happened before, but the employees were able to reach their offices through a different route. The Left says they are seeking Rs.25,000 crores (Rs. 250 billion) investment, but who is going to come if they have this attitude?” said Chandy.