Govt employees stage protest at Alappuzha civil station. Photo: C Biju/Mathrubhumi
Thiruvananthapuram:The second day of the two-day national strike in Kerala was near total on Tuesday as the 'dies non' (no work, no pay) issued by the Left government was not effective.
Most of the employees refused to turn up for work and the streets were deserted with the buses, autorickshaws, taxis and even private vehicles keeping off the roads.
Less than five per cent of the government employees marked their attendance despite the State government issuing the dies non on Monday after a High Court directive.
Minor scuffles were reported from various parts of the State as some people tried to open shops.
The Lulu Group, which has one mall in Kochi and another in Thiruvananthapuram witnessed protesters gathering in front of the complexes after a section of the media reported they were allowed to function.
" We did not function yesterday. We are not functioning today either, but there were reports to the contrary," an official of the mall told reporters here.
A few of the protesters were taken into custody by the police.
"There are around 4,500 employees at the State Secretariat but only around 150 marked their attendance," a senior official at the Secretariat told PTI.
Hours after the Kerala High Court directed the Left administration to take steps to prevent its employees from abstaining from duty as part of the strike, the government late Monday issued the dies non.
Chief Secretary V P Joy, in an order, said, "The unauthorised absence of employees will be treated as dies non under Rule 14 A of Part-1 of Kerala Service Rules."
But, the order did not jhave any effect.
The strike that began on Monday was called for by the central trade unions against the alleged anti-worker, anti-farmer, anti-people and anti-national policies of the Central government.
The unionists took out march to several government institutions.
Meanwhile, there were reports of construction on at the venue of the 23rd congress of the ruling CPI(M) in Kannur, an allegation denied by the party.
"There are workers staying at the venue as part of the construction work. Some people may have seen them there and thought that work was taking place," CPI(M) Kannur district secretary M V Jayarajan told the media. PTI