THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The nation-wide strike on Wednesday, called by trade unions against the labour policies pursued by the Centre, evoked an overwhelming response in the state capital. Normal life was thrown out of gear as shops remained shut and roads wore a deserted look, with vehicles staying away. Though no major law and order issues were reported from the district, the strike evoked a hartal-like feeling, with taxis and autorickshaws refusing to ferry passengers.
Several passengers who came via trains got stranded at the KSRTC main bus station at Thampanoor. Those who arrived for treatment at the Thiruvananthapuram Medical College and Regional Cancer Centre were provided conveyance by the police. With KSRTC suspending regular services, barring those to Sabarimala, long-distance passengers were stranded at the main bus station.
In the morning, a few incidents involving private vehicles being waylaid by strike supporters were reported from Kazhakuttom near Technopark campus and Thampuranmukku near the Government General Hospital areas. The passengers were forced to get down, but further violence was averted by the police who were deployed in sensitive pockets.
Similar incidents were reported from a few places in the rural areas of the district. In Pallikkal and Pothencode, the shop owners who came to open their shops by evening were prevented from doing so by the trade union activists resulting in minor scuffles. However, timely intervention by officers helped defuse the situation. Thin attendance on account of the strike affected the functioning of government and private offices in the city. However, it was work as usual at Technopark.