Strike evokes mixed response in Tripura

(Eds: Adding details) Agartala, Jan 8 (PTI) Stray incidents of violence were reported from some areas of Tripura on Wednesday during the strike called by trade unions which evoked a mixed response in the BJP-ruled state.

Attendance in most state government offices including the civil secretariat was normal, but banks and financial institutions were mostly closed.

Fewer vehicles plied on the roads and many shops and markets were closed.

Additional Director General of Police, Rajiv Singh said, no major incident of violence was reported in the state but a clash took place at Kailashahar in Unakoti district.

Unakoti, Superintendent of Police, Lucky Chauhan said a clash broke out in Kailashshar this morning when pro-strike activists tried to stop three lorries from entering the township.

The strikers clashed with the people opposing the bandh. Around 130 people were detained including 75 from CPI(M) and 55 from BJP during the scuffle, the SP said, adding that they were later released .

BJP leaders including MP Pratima Bhowmik, MLA Dilip Das and others walked on the streets in the capital city and urged people to continue with their daily activities.

Speaking to reporters Bhowmik claimed that trade union strike had no effect in Tripura.

'There is no bandh here. People have rejected bandh in Tripura', Bhowmik said.

Opposition leader and CPI(M) politburo member Manik Sarkar visited some Left trade union and party offices which were allegedly ransacked or burnt on Tuesday night.

After visiting a party local committee office at Dhaleswar here, which was set on fire on Tuesday night, Sarkar said, 'Such incidents have now happened in the chief ministers constituency as well ... I would not say anything more now'.

The CPI(M) and other Left parties claimed that the strike was total in Tripura despite attempts to disturb it.

'We didnt hold any picketing today. We campaigned against the BJP government for its misrule for the last three days and common people spontaneously supported the bandh', former Tripura Transport minister and president of the state unit of CITU, Manik Dey told reporters.

The strike has been called by trade unions INTUC, AITUC, HMS, CITU, AIUTUC, TUCC, SEWA, AICCTU, LPF, UTUC, along with various sectoral independent federations and associations.

Their demands include a minimum pension of Rs 6,000 for everyone, minimum support price (MSP) for farmers and adequate supply of ration to people. PTI JOY RG RG