Bandh hits life in eastern region

Life was paralysed in Tripura and Bihar and affected in many places in Odisha, West Bengal and Assam on the first day today of the two-day strike by central trade unions.

Banking and related financial services were also hit badly in the states as employees joined the strike against the central government's economic policies.

In Left Front-ruled Tripura, shops and markets were closed, as were schools, colleges, banks and financial, institutions.

Private buses and taxis were off the roads and train service came to a standstill in the state, though flight moperations were normal. CITU workers staged a dharna on the train lines at the Agartala railway station.

In Trinamool Congress ruled-West Bengal, life waspartially affected with shops, markets and business establishments closed in many parts of the metropolis.

Government run buses and trams ran in large numbers in comparison to private buses and taxis, which were less. Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, who is against the bandh and had warned government employees from remaining absent, said attendance at the state secretariat, Writers' Buildings, was 100 per cent.

Finance Minister Amit Mitra said that his department also registered 100 per cent attendance. Many government employees stayed overnight in their offices.

Bandh supporters took out processions in some areas. Commissioner of Kolkata Police Surajit Karpurakayastha was on the roads in the morning to review security.

"Everything is normal. There is enough police," he said. Trains services in the Howrah and Sealdah divisions of

Eastern Railway remained more or less normal, though there was some disruption in Sealdah South due to squatting by strike supporters in the morning, railway sources.

Metro Rail services in the metropolis was normal as also flights at the Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose International Airport. In NDA-ruled Bihar, bandh supporters were seen forcing traders to down shutters as markets and business establishments remained closed. Bandh supporters took the streets in Patna, Bhagalpur, Purnia, Nalanda, Jehanabad, Madhubani and elsewhere in the state and raised slogans against the Central government.

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