Bengaluru, July 7 (IANS) A flash strike by restive staff of Bengaluru Metro Rail Corporation Ltd (BMRCL) led to stoppage of service for six hours on early Friday, affecting around three lakh commuters, said an official.
The service was resumed post-noon on the north-south and east-west corridors of the 43 km metro network after the staff withdrew the strike and resumed duty.
“The service was stopped from 6 a.m. to 12 p.m. after the operational staff went on flash strike in protest against the arrest of two employees for allegedly assaulting two security men at the Central College station on Thursday,” BMRCL spokesman U.A. Vasant Rao told reporters here.
About 200 employees also staged a sit-in demo at the Baiyappanahalli station and refused to budge till their colleagues were released.
On a complaint by the injured Karnataka State Industrial Security Force (KSISF) men Anand and Lakshman, police took two metro staffers Rakesh and Harish into custody on Thursday night.
On a counter complaint by the metro staff, police also arrested Anand and Lakshman.
“The operational staff refused to resume duty till their colleagues were released since they were first assaulted by the security men,” said Rao.
The incident occurred on early Thursday when Rakesh, an electric maintenance staffer, refused to allow his sling bag to go through the scanner machine and be frisked claiming he was an employee and not a commuter to be subjected to security checks.
A heated argument between Rakesh and Anand turned into a fight between the two and led to Harish and Lakshman intervene but resulted in free-for-all among them.
The sudden stoppage of metro service without prior notice or information about its resumption caught thousands of commuters unawares as they scrambled for alternative modes of transport on a working day.
“I was shocked to see the metro station’s shutters down with no official to explain why the service was stopped or when it would resume,” S. Govindraj, a techie, told IANS at the Indiranagar station in the city’s eastern suburb.
Hundreds of irate commuters took to social media and vented their fury on BMRCL for stopping the service and not alerting them through its website, twitter account or announcements at the stations.