Agartala: A nation-wide 24-hour strike called by 10 central trade unions on Wednesday crippled life in Left ruled Tripura.

Government and non-government offices, shops, markets, banks and educational institutions remained shut, while vehicular traffic went off the roads. “The strike was spontaneous and total. No untoward incident was reported from anywhere in the state,” Centre of Indian Trade Unions (CITU) working committee member Tapas Datta told IANS.

Police said the strike, called in support of 12-points demands, which include withdrawal of labour law amendments and a minimum wage of Rs.15,000 a month, was peaceful. The roads in the city and its outskirts wore a deserted look and children played cricket on the main road. The trade unions are demanding to stop privatisation and foreign investment in railways, insurance and defence, and banning speculative trade in commodities.

The unions also demanded that wages for unskilled workers ranging from Rs.7,100 to Rs. 10,000 per month, and Rs.14,200 to Rs.20,000 for skilled workers. The unions have demanded a minimum wage of Rs.15,000 a month. All India State Government Employees Federation affiliated Tripura Employees Coordination Committee supported the Wednesday’s shut down. Bank Employees Federation of India (BEFI) Tripura unit general secretary Nikhil Das said that Wednesday’s bank strike was total and successful in banking sectors in most of the northeastern states. The BJP-backed Bharatiya Mazdoor Sangh (BMS) last week pulled out of the nationwide strike.

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