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Trade unions strike across major cities in India

Saurabh Das / AP

Policemen enter into a scuffle with trade union activists as the activists block a major intersection as part of a countrywide industrial strike in New Delhi, India, on Feb. 28.

Dar Yasin / AP

Kashmiri Muslim women workers of Accredited Social Health Activist shout slogans against the government during a one-day general strike in Srinagar, India, on Feb. 28.

Rupak De Chowdhuri / Reuters

A driver rests on his iconic yellow ambassador taxi during a country-wide strike in the eastern Indian city of Kolkata, on Feb. 28. Hundreds of thousands of workers from several trade unions went on strike across India on Tuesday to express their anger at soaring prices and to back demands for improved rights for employees, trade unions said.

Rafiq Maqbool / AP

Trade union activists shout slogans during a countrywide industrial strike in Mumbai, India, on Feb. 28.

KOLKATA, India -- Shops and banks were closed, factories shuttered and traffic sparse in major cities across India during an industrial strike Tuesday called by trade unions against the government.

Passengers were stranded at airports and railway stations in Kolkata, the capital of India's West Bengal state, as taxis and rickshaws were off the roads.

Eleven major trade unions called for the strike to protest against rampant inflation.

Gurudas Dasgupta, leader of the All India Trade Union Congress, said nearly 5,000 other smaller workers' unions from different trades joined the strike.

The trade unions are also protesting the government's policy of selling stakes in state-owned companies and the lack of social security f or non-unionized workers. Read the full story.

-- Associated Press

Mahesh Kumar A / AP

Indian police officers detain a member of a left-wing party during a protest in support of a general strike in Hyderabad, India, Tuesday, on Feb. 28.

Bikas Das / AP

Stranded railway passengers wait on a platform during a day-long strike in Kolkata, India, on Feb. 28.

Mahesh Kumar A / AP

An Indian supporter of left wing party participates in a protest in support of a one-day general strike in Hyderabad, India, on Feb. 28.