Normal life was thrown out of gear in Kerala on Tuesday as workers from various sectors extended support to the 48-hour long general strike called by 10 central trade unions against "anti-labour policies" of the central government. Buses and auto-rickshaws were kept off roads as the traffic movement across the state was affected. Trains were stopped at in Thiruvananthapuram, Tripunithura, Shoranur railway stations.
All trade unions except the Bharatiya Mazdoor Sangh have supported the strike, which has come five days after a 'hartal' was observed by right-wing groups in protest against the entry of two young women into the Sabarimala temple in Kerala.
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Agitators blocked the railway tracks and raised slogans, which delayed Venad Express, which runs from the state capital to Shoranur Junction daily, by more than an hour.
Other trains that were stopped in Thiruvananthapuram were Jan Shatabdi and Raptisagar Express.
The Sabarimala pilgrims, tourists, social and religious functions were exempted from the strike.
Buses from various destinations to Pamba, the foothills of the Sabarimala temple were made operational by the Kerala State Road Transport Corporation, to ensure Sabarimala pilgrims were not affected by the strike.
However, KSRTC buses were not plying on other routes. Shops at many places in the state capital remained open.
The union leaders had assured businesses they would not force closure of shops and target traders.