Rail roko on day 2 of strike, passengers bear the brunt

NL

On day two of the strike by 11 trade unions, it was rail roko at various points which left passengers harassed on Thursday.

The trains which were stopped included Dada and Malwa Express at Ludhiana railway station where the protesters sat on the tracks. The trains were later called back to

the station.

However, Swarn Shatabadi was stopped near Doraha while it was coming towards Ludhiana. A number of Ludhiana residents boarded private vehicles to come to their destinations while the ones who had to go to Jalandhar and Amritsar kept waiting for about five hours at Doraha.

Shan-e-Punjab coming from Delhi was stopped at Khanna and Malwa Express-UP coming from Delhi to Ludhiana was stopped at Mandi Gobindgarh.

A Ludhiana-bound train coming from Ferozepur was stopped near Manjeet Nagar which is 2-3 km from the railway station. Commuters got off from the train and travelled about 3 km to take some conveyance to reach their homes. A number of senior citizens along with children were seen travelling along with their luggage to find some auto rickshaw or other means of transport.

The trade unions, however, justified their protest and said they had announced that they would be

doing chakka jam for road transport on day one and rail roko on day two of the strike.

The strike was held in response to a nationwide call by 11 trade unions. The workers affiliated to the All India Trade Union Congress, INTUC, BMS, CTU, TUCC and CITU gathered at the bus stand from where they marched to the Provident Fund Office in Sham Nagar. After that, protesters went to different rail tracks for rail roko.

Speaking on the occasion, Com Raghunath Singh, general secretary of CITU Punjab, Com. Inderjeet Singh, president of CTU Punjab, and others said the strike reflected the growing resentment among the working class against the anti-people policies of the government. They asked the Punjab government to fix minimum wages for unskilled workers at Rs 10,000, semi-skilled workers at Rs 15,000, and skilled workers at Rs 20,000 per month. They also demanded filling up of all government and semi-government posts on a regular basis, and implementation of the same old pension scheme for all employees. Besides, they sought creation of a social security fund for the workers of the unorganised sector.

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