Union leaders among 120 held in Noida, looted goods recovered

The Noida police have identified leaders of an assortment of trade unions as "motivators" of the violence that wrecked hundreds of companies in sectors 83 and 84 on the first day of the nationwide strike called by trade unions on Wednesday.

Police said 122 people had been arrested till 6 pm on Thursday and some were union leaders of organisations such as Centre of Indian Trade Unions (CITU), All India Central Council of Trade Unions (AICCTU) and Bharatiya Mazdoor Sangh (BMS).

Offering to cooperate with the investigations, representatives of these trade unions said they wanted the protest to be "a peaceful protest march".

Among those arrested are: Shyam Kishore and Ram Roop, national and state counsellors of AICCTU, Surinder Singh of BMS, and Om Prakash, secretary of CITU.

Eight other leaders have been named in a written complaint by the Noida Entrepreneurs Association, but are yet to be arrested. "We have appointed a judicial officer who is remanding the accused to judicial custody from the premises of the Noida Phase-II police station," SP (City) Yogesh Singh said.

Ranjana Nirula, all India treasurer of CITU, said: "Members of CITU were part of the protest, but the violence was caused by others who joined in. There were lots of non-unionised workers. We have been targeted because we organised the protest, but our intentions were for a peaceful protest."

ADG of UP Police O P Singh confirmed that "others" joined in the protests. "There were anti-social elements who joined in from adjoining areas, primarily seeking an opportunity to loot. A majority of those involved were youngsters, between the ages of 18 and 25."

District Magistrate M K S Sundaram said so far 184 complaints have been received and more arrests are likely. He said more than 200 companies were vandalised.

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