India's financial sector was crippled on Wednesday all banks, insurance companies and commercial establishments in this commercial capital remained shut on the first of the two-day nationwide strike, organisers said.
"The banking and financial sector is 100 percent closed, not only in Mumbai and Maharashtra but all over the country," All India Bank Employees Association vice-president V. Utagi told IANS.
Utagi said all banks -- nationalised, private, foreign, regional, rural and cooperative -- had "wholeheartedly" participated in the strike.
Although suburban trains, buses, cabs and private vehicles here were running normally, the usual peak hour crowds were relatively thin.
There were few people commuting to industrial hubs in and around Mumbai like Andheri, Bhandup, Vasai, Palghar, Dahanu, Dombivli and Panvel, as all workers' unions have supported the strike.
Following the last-minute withdrawal of the two major unions led by Sharad Rao and A.L. Quadros, most cabs, autorickshaws and taxis were plying, ferrying anxious commuters to the nearest railway stations.
Suburban trains were running normally. There were reports of minor stone-pelting on a train at Bhandup in north-east Mumbai.
Most educational institutions were running normally, but student attendance was thin.
The Class III and IV employees of the state secretariat Mantralaya and district headquarters have also joined the strike.
While Mumbai's dabbawalas, who ferry food to office-goers, are working as usual, a majority of the shops, eateries and commercial establishments opened this morning with their shutters half down but prepared to close down anytime.
In Maharashtra, the Shiv Sena and all its affiliated organisations are fully supporting the shutdown.
However, Shiv Sena president Uddhav Thackeray assured that students appearing for the crucial Higher Secondary School Certificate Examinations starting all over Maharashtra Thursday (Feb 21) would not be hit.
The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation said all emergency services would be on full alert to handle any untoward situation.
The all-India shutdown call is in support of various demands by the unions, including concrete measures to counter inflation, steps for employment generation, job security, universal social security, and making the minimum wage to Rs.10,000 per month along with daily allowance.
Police in Mumbai and across the state have made elaborate arrangements to counter any situation arising from the strike.
The joint strike call has been issued by the Bharatiya Mazdoor Sangh (BMS), Indian Trade Union Congress (INTUC), All India Trade Union Congress (AITUC), Hind Mazdoor Sabha (HMS), Centre of Indian Trade Unions (CITU), All India United Trade Union Centre (AIUTUC) and other such central and state organisations, cutting across party affiliations.
Jindo, South Korea: Divers continued the grim work of recovering bodies from inside a sunken South Korean ferry Monday, as a newly released transcript showed the ship was crippled by confusion and ind...
Dubai: A 57-year-old Pakistani man has been accused of luring an 11-year-old Indian schoolboy to the washroom of a mosque in Dubai and attempting to rape him. According to the charge-sheet, the suspec...
New Delhi: Notwithstanding objections by BJP, the defence ministry is going ahead with the process of appointing the new Army Chief and has recommended the name of Vice Chief of Army Staff Lt Gen Dalb...
New Delhi: BJP today distanced itself fromits Bihar leader Giriraj Singh's 'back Narendra Modi or go toPakistan' remark with the party saying that he has beenconveyed the "displeasure" of th...
Islamabad: At least 41 people were killed and many others were injured when a passenger bus hit a truck-trailer in Pakistan's south Sukkur district.The accident took place near Pano Akil town of the S...
Pune (Maharashtra): The sensational murder of rationalist Narendra Dabholkar is yet to be solved eight months after he was was gunned down while on a morning walk here, creating a nationwide furore.Tw...
JINDO/MOKPO South Korea (Reuters) - South Korean prosecutors investigating a ferry disaster said on Sunday they would seek to extend the detention of the ship's captain and two other crew by 10 days a...