Garment workers' protest turns violent in Bengaluru

Women severely injured in lathi-charge

Garment workers' protest turns violent in Bengaluru
Protests by thousands of garment factory workers against the Centre’s new policy on provident fund (PF) withdrawal here on Monday turned violent, forcing the police to resort to lathi-charge and firing tear gas shells to bring the situation under control.

At least 22 police personnel, a DH photographer and scores of agitators were injured in the violence. The police were caught unawares as the workers held meetings inside their factory premises around Bommanahalli area after the management announced that they will implement the new PF policy which prevents employees from getting the employers’ contribution if they quit before attaining 58 years of age.

The protesters resolved to march to the Employees’ Provident Fund Organisation office at Singasandra, near Bengaluru-Hosur national highway, and submit a memorandum. As they reached the highway, they decided to block the road, bringing traffic to a grinding halt for more than three hours as vehicles were stranded from Silk Board junction to Attibele Gate.

The police, who were outnumbered, decided to summon additional forces to deal with the situation. By the time forces reached the spot, the mob went berserk. After several warnings, the police used force to disperse the protesters.

On Bannerghatta Road, around 10,000 women garment workers, employees of Shahi Exports Pvt Ltd and K Mohan and Co Exports Pvt Ltd, staged a protest between Hulimavu and Arkere signals. Police fired tear gas shells after their efforts to persuade protesters from lifting the road blockade proved futile.

Cop thrashes DH chief photographer

A policeman in plain clothes attacked DH chief photographer Srikanta Sharma R who was clicking pictures of the brutal lathi-charge on women protesters on Bannerghatta Road on Monday.

The policeman, attached to the Hulimavu station, not only injured Sharma on his left thigh, but also broke his camera lens and then confiscated it, knowing very well that Sharma was just doing his job. When asked if he had permission to use force, the policeman turned furious and verbally abused Sharma, and even punched him in the face.
The camera was recovered only after DCP (South) Lokesh Kumar and other senior police officers intervened. Such was his audacity, that when asked why he attacked a photojournalist, the policeman threatened Sharma of serious consequences in the presence of his higher-ups.

Mysuru highway blocked for 10 hrs

Thousands of vehicles were stranded on the Mysuru-Bengaluru highway for more than 10 hours after 4,000 garment employees blocked the road near Maddur on Monday.

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