India man loses ear on skipping work during nation-wide strike

Thursday, February 21, 2013
Many factories were shut on the second day of  nation-wide strike
[PHOTO: Special Arrangement]

New Delhi/Kolkata: In a bizarre incident, a government employee's ear has been allegedly chopped off in India's West Bengal on Thursday after he failed to report for work on day one of the two-day nation-wide strike called by central trade unions.

It is reported that Hazrat Omar who had been working as a panchayat worker (village level employee) was absent on Wednesday and was attacked on Thursday when he returned to work.

The man, Omar, who was rushed to a nearby hospital has alleged his attackers were members of the state's ruling Trinamool Congress Party (TMC), who were opposing the strike. However, party officials have denied any involvement in this. 

Television channel on Thursday showed photos of Mr Omar at a hospital with a bandage wrapped around his ears and head.

TMC chief and West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee had earlier warned traders of strict action if they take part in the two-day strike.

Notably, the strike has been called by the trade union to protest against the government economic policy. 

The unions are also protesting against several issues like price rise, inflation and alleged violation of Indian labour laws. 

Reports said Omar has booked no case against the activists.

Strike disrupts transport and banking services 

Even on the second day of strike protesting workers destroyed vehicles and damaged factories near the Indian capital, New Delhi. 

It has been reported that about 500 workers pelted stones at factories in the industrial hub of Noida (about 10 miles east of the capital) to force them to close their units. 

Report says public-sector banks and many government offices were being kept shut on the second day of the strike. 

The nation-wide strike has also disrupted the banking services with ATMs running out of cash in many cities. 

In New Delhi auto-rickshaws and taxis were off the roads, but metro services are respite for the daily commuters as they were functioning normally.

Trade Unions and other major union are protesting against the government moves to allow Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in retail insurance and aviation sectors and decision to increase prices of subsidised fuel and cooking gas.

In September last year a one-day strike against reforms cost Asia's third-largest economy millions of dollars in lost business.

The government's "big bang" reforms are aimed at reviving a flagging economy, as well as avoiding the threat of a downgrade in India's credit rating.

According to  the Prime Minister Manmohan Singh the reforms will help strengthen country's growth process and generate employment in these difficult times.

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