Thiruvananthapuram: Offices, businesses, daily-wage earners, tourists and the sick needing to go to hospital were all affected for a second consecutive day on Wednesday when Kerala observed a near-total shutdown.
The shutdown was called by various trade unions to protest the policies of the federal government in New Delhi.
One consolation was that some traders attempted — and succeeded in some places — to keep their shops open, and in a few places including Kozhikode, private buses plied intermittently. Shops also opened in different parts of Kannur, Wayanad, Alappuzha and Kottayam districts.
But for those exceptions in isolated pockets, there were blockades and violence in different parts of the state. Trains were blocked in Thiruvananthapuram, Kalamassery and Changanacherry.
In Thiruvananthapuram, supporters of the strike attacked the office of the State Bank of India near the state secretariat, causing damage to computers, phones and furniture.
Some of the demands of the trade unions holding the two-day national strike are implementation of a universal social security scheme, tackling unemployment and ensuring a minimum wage of Rs18,000 per month.
In the state capital Thiruvananthapuram, court directives were openly flouted when the strike supporters put up a pandal encroaching on the road and completely blocking traffic, to conduct a protest meeting.