Protests against PF money withdrawal turn violent, Section 144 imposed in Bengaluru

Section 144 imposed after protests turn violent in many areas in Bengaluru.

Protests against PF money withdrawal turn violent, Section 144 imposed in Bengaluru
Pic Courtesy: ANI

Bengaluru: As violence intensified to more areas in Bengaluru against the tighter rules for withdrawal of PF money by garment workers, Section 144 has been imposed in the area on Tuesday evening.

Karnataka Home Minister G Parameshwar confirmed the news to ANI and said, "Section 144 has been imposed in the area and preventive arrest has been ordered if in case anybody tries to create problem again."

 

His announcement came in the midst of escalating protests by labour unions, especially the violent Bengaluru agitation, against the bar on withdrawing employer's contribution from the PF money till the age of 58 years.

Denying the reports that there was an intelligence failure that led the Bengaluru protest turn violent, Parameshwar said that there was no lapse from the intelligence agency.

"There was no intelligence failure. The government took enough precautionary steps and senior police officers were monitoring each and every development in the city. However, it took a different turn, unfortunately," he asserted.

"Police showed more restraint as there were lot of women among protestors. Had we taken some extreme steps, it would have led to more injuries", the state home minister said.

Thousands of garment factory workers in Bengaluru took to streets and blocked traffic, set vehicles on fire today to protest against changes in PF withdrawal rules. At least 62 people, including 24 policemen, are said to have received injuries in the protests. Among the injured is an 18-year-old college student, who was hit by a bullet.

Protesters pelted stones at Hebbagodi Police Station in Bengaluru 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 teargas shells to disperse violent protesters.

At least two Karnataka State Road Transport Corporation buses and one of Bengaluru Metropolitan Transport Corporation have been set on fire, according to police.

Incidents of stone-pelting on buses and other vehicles were reported from different parts of the city such as Bannerghatta and Jalahalli cross, as also near the Electronics City, the hub of IT firms.

(With PTI inputs)

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