The Karnataka Government on Tuesday prohibited the assembly of more than 10 people in an area, by imposing Section 144 of the Criminal Procedure Code, reported ANI. This comes after thousands of garment factory workers took to the streets in Bengaluru for the second day in a row on Tuesday, protesting against the recent amendments made to the Employees Provident Fund Scheme. The protests turned violent after workers set at least 15 buses ablaze, according to India Today.
Karnataka Home Minister G Parameshwara also ordered for preventive arrest "if someone tries to create a problem again" on Wednesday. He denied that Tuesday's clashes were an intelligence failure, saying that the authorities took enough precautionary measures.
Calling the amendments “anti-workers”, Jayaram KR from the Garment and Textile Workers’ Union said their primary issue was that many workers of unorganised sectors were unsure they will be employed till the age of retirement. Workers from five factories, including Shahi Exports Pvt Ltd, K Mohan and Co Exports Pvt Ltd and Jockey, are staging the demonstrations.
Some 20 Karnataka State Reserve Police squads, eight deputy commissioners of police and 300 policemen are trying to diffuse the tension on location, Additional Commissioner of Police (East) Harishekaran said. Protestors also reportedly hurled stones at the officers, who later fired teargas shells at them, according to The Hindu report.
Agitations were reported in other parts of the city, too. Traffic movement was severely stalled at the entry and exit points of the city, Nelamangala Road, Outer Ring Road Junction, Jalahalli Cross and Tumkur Road, as well as in Bidadi on the Bengaluru-Mysuru Highway. Namma Metro services were suspended between Nagasandra and Yeshwantpur.