Protesters target Okhla factories, at least six detained
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A day after the nationwide strike called by 11 trade unions turned violent in Noida, trouble was reported from Okhla Industrial Area in Southeast Delhi on Thursday.
Police said protesters hurled stones at the factories in the area, forcing closure. At least six persons have been detained for vandalism.
The striking workers, police said, shouted slogans against government's economic policies and hailed trade unions.
People had also collected at Jantar Mantar to reportedly protest against the new rules and regulations issued by the Home Minister. "We have been asking the government to end the high-handedness of the traffic police and provide us with transport to get home after working hours. Otherwise we will all go on a permanent strike from March 1," Rajinder Soni, spokesperson of Bharatiya Mazdoor Sangh, said.
Commuters in the city faced hardships as majority of public transport stayed off the road in support of the strike. Students and office-goers were the hardest hit as auto-rickshaw and taxi drivers either refused to ply or overcharged. Five major auto-rickshaw and taxi unions in the city have joined the strike to demand a hike in fares.
Long queues were seen at Metro stations and DTC buses plied as usual, though a section of the employees extended support to the strike. Delhi government had cancelled the leave of all DTC employees and asked senior officials of the corporation to be at bus depots from early morning to ensure smooth operation of the service.
Meanwhile, representatives from the All Delhi Auto Taxi Transporters Congress Union said they had met with Transport Minister Ramakant Goswami. "We told him that he needed to look into the matter of auto fare hike seriously and he has assured that the government is seriously considering our demands," president of the union Kishan Verma said.
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