NEW DELHI, Feb. 20 (Xinhua) -- A two-day nationwide strike by worker unions, starting Wednesday, disrupted normal life across India as public transport stayed off roads in almost all cities, including the national capital and financial hub Mumbai.
The air services, however, have not been hit and the flights are more or less on time, an aviation official said.
At least one person was reportedly killed in clashes which broke out between two rival workers' unions in the northern Indian state of Punjab's Amritsar town while a group of protesters vandalized a state-run bus as it started plying on the roads, defying the strike, even as there were reports of sporadic incidents sparking tensions in other parts of the country.
School, colleges, offices, shops and all nationalized banks remained shut almost across the country, particularly in the eastern Indian states of West Bengal and Bihar, the southern states of Karnataka and Kerala, the northern states of Uttar Pradesh and Punjab, and the western state of Maharashtra, apart from large parts of the national capital, according to local TV channels.
However, state-run trains in Mumbai and metro rail services in the Indian capital were not affected as security forces kept a strict vigil on the two very crucial modes of transport in the two cities, the TV channels reported.
The striking workers have been demanding better wages, more job security among other demands, though the strike is likely to hamper industrial production and agriculture, causing a huge loss to the economy.
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