Bengaluru protest, day 2: Garment workers turn violent over new PF rules

Update: The government has suspended for 3 months the new rules that determines when an employee could withdraw money from your provident fund

New Delhi: Protesting against the recent amendments to the Employees Provident Fund (EPF) for the second day in a row, thousands of workers of a garment factory in Bengaluru turned violent, as they blocked traffic on the busy Mysore-Bengaluru highway and set vehicles on fire on Tuesday.

 

Police were forced to resort to lathicharge and tear gas shelling to control the mob, as they started pelting stones and burnt several buses and other vehicles at various spots at Hosur road, Tumkur road and Jalahalli.

In Hebbagodi, over 10,000 workers vandalized the police station, forcing the police to fire several shots in the air. Around 20 people were arrested after the incident which left several policemen injured.

 

"We are protesting against the central government's move to amend the PF Act, which prevents our workers, including mostly women, to withdraw the employer's contribution till they turn 58 years," Garment and Textile Workers' Union leader K.R. Jayaram had said on Monday.

Meanwhile, G Parmeshwara, the Bangaluru home minister appealed for peace. "There is no need for this protest. There seems to be no leader for this protest. The police have acted with great restraint."

 

The protest erupted over the government announcing in this year's budget that people can withdraw only a part of their provident fund before retirement and need to wait till they are 58-years-old to access the employer's deposit.

News24 Bureau