Police had to use tear gas shells

Garment workers block major Bengaluru roads for second day police use tear gas on unruly protesters
news Tuesday, April 19, 2016 - 12:05

Bengaluru police resorted to tear gas shells on Tuesday as garment workers from major factories continued their protest against PF rules by blocking roads for the second day in a row. 

In two areas the protests had escalated in to violence and hooliganism. The police had resorted to lathicharge and also shot tear gas at protestors who threw stones after public vehicles.

While the traffic was controlled by the traffic police at various protest areas, the police took over 4 hours to disperse protestors at Gottigere near Bannerghatta road. Buses were set on fire at Hosur road and Tumakuru.

Speaking on the events in the past two days, G Parameshwara, home minister Karnataka said that the police had taken “remarkable restrain”.

Garment workers blocked parts of Hosur and Iblur roads on Tuesday morning. However, protesters pelted stones at passing vehicles, forcing police to lob tear gas shells at the workers. Some workers were being picked up by the police. By noon, the workers had shifted their protest to the factory premises, several of which are located in Bommanahalli.

On Monday, workers had  staged an impromptu protest, saying that they did not know that the rules for withdrawing PF had been changed. The Bommanahalli area was blocked for around six hours as protesters staged demonstrations. Police had resorted to lathicharge to disperse the workers and had even used tear gas shells.

The government had notified the rules in February. The workers are protesting against the central government’s decision to set new norms for people who wish to withdraw the full amount from their provident fund accounts. After April 30, people would only be able to withdraw only their contribution and the interest accrued on it, but not the employers’ contribution. 

Home minister said that the protestors went against the law as the protest was not arranged with prior permission.

“The police should not be provoked. Whoever is leading the agitation should come forward and talk with the government,” he said.

“The agitators should know that the state government has nothing to do with this change in PF rules,” he said.

The home minister has also imposed section 144 on Wednesday in the areas in the city where the protests took place. 

Watch videos of the protest here:

 

The protest is having a ripple effect on traffic in the city. The Twitter handle of the Bengaluru city police provided updates on traffic movement.

On Monday, garment workers in Gejjalagere in Mandya district too protested the government’s changed rules. The

Read: Monday blues: Why thousands of garment factory workers blocked a major Bengaluru road

In the neighbouring Ramnagara district, garment workers of Madhura garments near Basavanapura avillage blocked the Mysuru-Bengaluru highway protesting against lathicahrge against the protesters in Bengaluru on Monday. Vehicular traffic for around 2km was held up because of the protest.

Show us some love and support our journalism by becoming a TNM Member - Click here.