Some 15,000 women were among those who protested against the restrictions imposed on Employee Provident Fund (EPF) withdrawals.
The violent agitations of garment factory workers brought life in many parts of Bengaluru to a virtual standstill. The police fired tear gas shells as the mob torched vehicles and pelted stones at the police.
Around 100 people have been detained by the police. Reports state that over 60 people including 25 policemen have been left injured.
Bengaluru police commissioner N. S. Megharikh told reporters that the situation is now under control.
The protests follow the government’s proposed changes in February to how employees can withdraw savings from the Employee Provident Fund (EPF).
According to the changes, an employee will be able to withdraw only their contribution to their provident fund accounts. The employer’s contribution to the PF can be withdrawn only after the employee is 58-years-old.
This is what the workers are opposing.
They claim that they are dependent on access to their pensions and the rule will have an effect on all workers in the unorganised sector. Jayaram K.R. of the Garment and Textile Workers’ Union said, “What about the poor people who use it for important purposes like marriage or education?”
What has the government done?
Union Labour Minister Bandaru Dattatreya said:
This means that the government has rolled back the norms.