Noida, Feb 20: Over 25 vehicles were set ablaze and several industrial units damaged as the nationwide strike by trade unions today turned violent, prompting police to arrest 50 persons.
Taking a strong note, Divisional Commissioner Meerut has ordered a inquiry into the matter by a senior official.
The SHO has been transferred and attached to police line, while two policemen and as many fire personnel were injured in the violence.
Workers went on a rampage in Noida Phase 2 area and damaged industrial properties and set vehicles, including a fire brigade, on fire.
Workers clashed with factory owners in a hosiery complex in Noida Phase 2 and damaged industrial properties.
“People just barged in, looted everything in sight and even tore our registers,” an industrialist said. Another industrialist said every single building in the hosiery complex had their windows broken and many vehicles were on fire.
Other affected areas in Noida are sectors 56, 57, 58, 59, 60, 67, 81, 82. Protesters pelted stones and damaged vehicles in Phase III industrial area under sectors 58 and 59.
“Violence erupted around 12 noon in Noida Phase 2 in the Hosiery complex area. When fire tender reached there to extinguish the burning vehicles protesters had set it ablaze too,” Chief Fire Officer Aman Sharma said.
About 25 vehicles were set on fire during the protest. Two firemen too suffered minor injuries, he said adding, 25 fire tenders were pressed into service to douse the fire.
Meerut Divisional Commissioner, Mritunjay Kumar Naryan, who visited the violence-hit areas, said, “Additional Commissioner Ajay Shankar Pandey will conduct the inquiry and submit report in next three days.”
“I visited the areas in Noida where violence took place and met the industrialists. I have assured them that additional police force will be deployed tomorrow and they can run their factories. PAC has already been deployed at sensitive industrial areas,” he said.
“A case has been registered at Noida Phase 2 police station. 50 protesters have been arrested and search hunt was on for others involved in the violence,” a police spokesman said.
Central trade unions have called a two-day nationwide strike in support of their various demands including urgent steps to control price rise, strict enforcement of labour laws in all places of work, social security net for workers in the unorganised sector, end to disinvestment in PSUs.
Meanwhile, the Noida Entrepreneurs Association claimed a loss of Rs 600 crore due to today's general strike in which several industrial units were damaged.
At the meeting, industrials also demanded compensation from the state government for the losses they suffered. Association President Vipin Malhan alleged that police reached the sites of violences late by over one hour.