7 cops among injured in staff stir at garments factory

Himatsingka Garment factory in Karnataka. (Himatsingka website)

Seven police personnel and several others were injured as a protest by employees of Himatsingka garments factory in the city turned violent on Wednesday.

Initially, the protest, against the alleged harassment of the workers by the higher-ups, was conducted in a peaceful manner. Suddenly it turned violent, with the workers throwing stones, damaging vehicles and glass window panes of the factory, leaving seven police personnel and others injured. The injured police personnel are being treated in the hospital. More than 10 two-wheelers and a car of the police and media persons were damaged.

The glass window panes of the security department and the reception area were damaged in the stone-throwing. Four computers have been damaged. The police resorted to mild caning and opened fire in the air to bring the situation under control. Later, they took more than 100 employees from North India into custody, for inquiry.

There are more than 5,000 employees from Assam, Bihar and other places working in the readymade garment unit. The employees complained of harassment and physical assault by factory officials.

“If we object, we are subjected to physical harassment. The factory does not pay the salaries properly. A few employees have gone missing. They should be traced. The factory management should come to the venue of the protest and give a clarification,” they demanded.

Addl SP Nandini visited the spot and deployed more personnel on the premises as a precautionary measure. “The incident is taken seriously. The guilty will be punished,” she said. Speaking to DH, factory vice-president Mahesh denied the allegations of physical assault on the workers. There is heavy damage to property. A complaint has been lodged with the police to take action against the guilty, he said.

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