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Bengaluru PF protest turns violent, vehicles to TN blocked

Vehicular movement towards Tamil Nadu and Mysuru came to a grinding halt, following a ‘rasta roko’ agitation by garment workers for the second day on Tuesday who protested against the new provisions of the Provident Fund Act, restricting withdrawals

Bengaluru PF protest turns violent, vehicles to TN blocked
A vehicle being torched following the violent protests in Bengaluru (Image tweeted by ANI)


Vehicles were stranded on either sides of both national and state highways in these sectors as the agitators also protested against what they termed the ‘high-handedness’ of the police while dealing with the garment workers. 

In some places, the vehicles were seen lined up to a distance of three to five kilometres, in view of the road blockade. Also, at some places agitators resorted to stone pelting, resulting in injuries to five people, police said.

“We work in an unorganised sector and are not garnering required support. We are not asking for money but our right to withdraw the amount which is in our PF account. Since we are getting very low salary, we depend on this saved money to arrange for the wedding of our daughters or to construct a house. Our work nature is such that we cannot work till 58 years of age, which is a condition for drawing the PF,” a garment worker Manjunath said. 

As per the new amendment, workers could withdraw only their (employee’s) contribution till 58 years of age and they will be able to withdraw the employer’s contribution only after that age. 

Following the protest, most of the garment factories, including exported oriented units, had shut down as a precautionary measure. 

Protesters pelted stones at Hebbagodi Police station and torched seized vehicles parked there, as the spontaneous agitation, with no trade union leading it, spun out of control. Police said they had to resort to lathicharge and fire tear-gas shells to disperse violent protesters. 

More than 25 vehicles, including 20 buses were set on fire by the agitators. 

Girl injured as police open fire 

A teenager suffered bullet injuries as police opened fire to quell a rioting mob of garment workers agitating against the new norms for withdrawal of funds from the Employees Provident Fund. 

According to reports a teenaged girl Preeti, a bystander, suffered bullet injuries on the leg and was admitted to a local hospital. Her condition was reported to be stable after the bullets were removed.

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