Global News

Bengaluru garment factory workers' protest against EPF scheme amendments turns violent

Bengaluru garment factory workers' protest against EPF scheme amendments turns violent

Stones were thrown at a police station by garment industry workers and several police vehicles were burnt as the protests spiraled out of control.

The protesters have been demanding that they be allowed to withdraw their full provident fund as they are uncertain about staying in government jobs till they are 58, and require financial security.

The protest against the state government's decision of amendment in the employees provident funds has resulted in a clash between workers and the police officials.

Several vehicles were vandalised and torched by protesters.

This is the second rollback on the revised EPF withdrawal norms announced in this year's budget - the government had to earlier scrap its proposal to make 40 per cent of the corpus taxable on withdrawal. It was only at the last CBT meeting that they expressed their reservations regarding the change in withdrawal norms and said that it was not working. Police lobbed tear gas shells at protesters in an attempt to quell the agitation.

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Massive traffic jam was reported in the early hours which lasted for close to five hours. Under the plan, people could withdraw only half their provident fund before retirement and would have to wait till they were 58 to access the employer's share of the deposit. Among them, four garment workers and a policeman sustained serious injuries and are undergoing treatment at a private hospital.

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.

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

Bengaluru police commissioner N.S. Megharikh said the situation was under control, but there "are some issues" on the city's outskirts.

The notification on PF withdrawal was originally to be implemented from February 10 but later put on hold till April 30 and deferred further till July 31. Fire service personnel were pressed into service to bring the situation under control.


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