Strike paralyses Kolar city

Protesters allow BJP meet, but stop programme by students

The town missed its usual buzz on Tuesday, as schools and business establishments were closed and autorickshaws remained off the road.

While auto drivers and employees of banks had participated in the strike called by the trade unions, the schools and colleges were closed to observe bundh called by the Students Federation of India (SFI)  across the State.

CPM leaders had taken out a rally on Monday evening, to inform the traders and employees about the strike. 

At 6 am on Tuesday, members of various organisations assembled in front of the Karnataka State Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC) depot and didn’t allow the buses to operate. Even the private buses suspended operation. People faced inconvenience due to lack of any mode of public transport. Those who had come from other villages for work had to return disappointed.

The bus statnd, old bus stand road, circle, MG Road, Doddapet Road, Mekke Circle, Sharada Talkies Road, Ammavaripet Circle, MB Road, Clock Tower, Doomlite Circle, Bangarpet Circle and Srinivaspur tollgate wore a deserted look. 

Only petty shops, tea vendors, slaughter houses and mutton shops witnessed a brisk business.  Protest, a spoilsportThe protesters stopped teachers and students from participating in a cultural progamme and forced teachers and children from far-off schools to return. However, they didn’t disturb the BJP executive meeting which was held at a marriage hall. Leaders of various organisations, including Gandhinagar Narayanaswamy, V Gita, Vijayakrishna, T M Venkatesh, Krishnegowda, Ramesh, Sampangi, Gangamma, Narayanareddy and Muniswamy, led the protesters. The Democratic Youth Federation of India district unit and the Karnataka Pranta Raita Sangha district committee also supported the strike. Police personnel were deployed in the major areas of the town.

However, workers in the unorganised sector seemed unpurturbed by the strike. The workers were seen collecting fruits under the tamarind trees and some others were working at construction sites.  

Students’ demandsThe SFI activists staged a protest, urging the government to fulfil their various demands. Their demands were: the State and the Central governments should increase the allocation to education by 30 per cent and 10 per cent respectively; a district education regulations authority must be set up to check donation menace in the private education institutions; the government should not close schools, colleges and hostels which don’t have student strength, instead, they should be strengthened by providing more facilities. 

Responding to the bundh call, the schools and colleges had remained closed. In private schools, majority of the students were absent due to the strike. 

Exams postponed The protests affected the PU examinations. History examination for I PU students has been postponed to March 5 and practicals for II PU, to Wednesday. SFI district unit leaders K Vasudeva Reddy and Ambarish led the protest. 

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