Feb 28 strike: WB govt warns of action for any disruption

With ruling Trinamool Congress opposed to the all-India industrial strike called by trade unions next Tuesday, West Bengal government today warned of action against any forcible closure of establishments and also said all government employees must report for duty.

The Mamata Banerjee government said no leave will be allowed for state government employees on February 28 and that necessary steps must be taken by authorities to ensure that normal life was not disrupted in any way.

"All state government offices will remain open on that day and all government employees should report for duty," Chief Secretary Samar Ghosh said in a circular.

A joint secretary to the state government in another circular to all departmental secretaries asked them to send to him details of attendance of employees by 12:30 pm on the day of strike called by central trade unions.

The chief secretary in his circular to all divisional commissioners, IGPs, IGPs (railway), SPs, SPs (railway) and district magistrates asked them to take all precautions to ensure there was no violation of law and order and that no untoward incident took place place on the day.

"Attempts at forcible closure of government offices, shops, markets, educational institutions and industrial establishments, should be firmly dealt with," the circular said.

"There should be no stoppage of vehicles and trains due to squatting or other types of blockade. Such a situation should not be allowed to develop and prompt advance action should be taken to effectively deal with them," it said.

The circular called for extensive patrol and adequate reserve police forces at strategic centres and said "no government property should be allowed to be destroyed."

Left-backed unions, State Coordination Committee and Nabaparjay, a state government employees' federation opposed the state government's directive.

State coordination committee leader Anutosh Sanyal described the circular as undemocratic and said that its members would nevertheless join the strike.

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