Strike hits Punjab, Haryana; one killed

The nationwide strike hit normalcy in Punjab and Haryana Wednesday as public transport kept off the roads and banks remained shut.

A Haryana Roadways employee was killed in an accident as he and his colleagues were commencing their protest.

Narender Singh, a driver with Haryana Roadways, was killed in Haryana's Ambala city Wednesday after being hit by a state transport bus at Ambala bus depot, 45 km from here.
Union leaders said that Singh and other employees were about to start their protest when the authorities tried to take out some buses from the depot.

One of the buses crushed Singh when he tried to stop it. He was rushed to Ambala Civil Hospital where doctors pronounced him dead. The errant driver escaped.

Haryana Roadways Workers Union's Ambala district president Inder Singh Bhadana said Singh would not be cremated until the state government registered a case against senior police officials and the Haryana Roadways general manager for trying to forcibly ply buses.

Ambala deputy commissioner Shekhar Vidyarthi appealed for calm. He said the bus depot incident was only an accident.

Meanwhile, angry protestors pelted stones at government vehicles. Officers of the district administration and local police, who rushed to the spot, were locked up in a room by the protestors.

The protestors overturned the vehicle of a police official.

Eleven major trade unions have called a two-day all-India strike to press for demands like concrete measures to counter inflation, steps for employment generation, job security, universal social security, and ensuring that workers get a minimum wage of Rs.10,000 per month along with daily allowance.

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