Bengaluru, Apr 20: The large scale violence and damage that was caused following a protest by garment workers in Bengaluru yesterday has led to losses worth several crores.
None even the garment workers themselves had expected that the protests would turn violent. It was meant to be a peaceful protest and today the entire city blames the garment workers for indulging in meaningless violence which left half the city stranded.
The President of the Garment and Textile Workers Union, Prathibha tells OneIndia that she has no idea how this protest turned violent.
At the beginning of the protest it was decided that it would be a peaceful one. They had in fact planned a silent protest, but thanks to miscreants it turned violent.
We got the bad name
As per the original plan, the protest was meant to commence on April 20. It was meant to be a silent protest, but many felt that it should be advanced since the new restrictions on EPF withdrawal would commence on May 1.
A lot of people did come out on the streets to stage a protest and all through we told them to keep it peaceful. The police were only having a tough time controlling the traffic.
The garment workers say that out of no where the violence erupted and before we knew it there was chaos everywhere. The police think we are the ones who carried out the violence. Why would we try and damage a city that we are part of, Ganesh a garment worker says.
Another leader of the garment workers, Jayaram says that none of them indulged in any violence. Some miscreants started it and today we have been given a bad name.
What we fail to understand is that the violence escalated after all of us dispersed from the spot. This means none of us part of the protest are involved in the violence.
In fact we began to move away after the EPF commissioner announced that the decision on the new rules had been deferred by three months. Our protest did yield the results, but we have nothing to be happy about as today we carry the blame for vandalising the city, he also says.