India is on nationwide strike

India is on nationwide strikeIn India tens of millions of workers came on a day-long strike on Friday, demanding higher wages and to protest against the government's economic reforms.

The public transport is disrupted in some parts of the country. Also banks, government offices and factories are shut. shops and schools shut down in parts of the country.

Trade unions have blamed the government for not addressing the demands of the workers in banking, telecommunication and manufacturing industries. The country officials say the reforms are needed economic growth.

Unions also oppose a government decision to put more money from state-run pension funds into stock markets.

More than 150 million workers in different industries were on strike, Tapan Sen, general secretary of the Centre of Indian Trade Unions, told the BBC.

There also were reported some clashes and more than 20 protesters were arrested after they damaged two government buses in West Bengal.

"This strike is against the central government, this strike is for the cause of the working people," Ramen Pandey of the Indian National Trade Union Congress told the AFP news agency.

Just one major union pulled out of the national strike: the Bharatiya Mazdoor Sangh which, like the ruling party, is an affiliate of the Hindu nationalist group Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh.
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