Bengaluru, Apr 20: The protests by the garment factory workers in Bengaluru against the union government's amendments to the Employee Provident Fund turned violent yon Tuesday.
The centre revoked the new rules which had prevented employees from withdrawing their EPF until the age of 58.
The interesting bit about this violent protest on Tuesday was that nearly 60 per cent of them did not even know what they were agitating about. There was mob frenzy and people were torching vehicles, but neither the police nor the union leaders are aware of who organised this protest.
Many did not know what they were protesting about
The BJP in Karnataka says that it looks like a political conspiracy. It is strange that such a massive protest broke out in a Congress ruled state protesting against a policy decision made by the BJP government at the centre. Speaking to several policemen in Bengaluru did not give any clear picture as to who was behind this protest.
On the other hand the Garment and Textile Workers Union says that there was never an intention of agitating through violent means. While urging the police to withdraw the cases against the workers, they have also said that some elements slipped in and ensured that the protest turned violent.
Some leaders in Karnataka smell a rat in these protests. They feel that it had been staged and the police asked to look the other way.
S Prakash, senior BJP leader says that over night a leaderless agitation breaks out in the city. Police remain mute spectator to the violence initially and allowed the violence escalate. A political conspiracy is clearly visible.
He feels that the government had engineered these riots. The Home Minister of Karnataka, Dr G Parameshwar had completely failed in managing the home ministry he also says.
Home Minister too does not know who staged the protests
Dr Parameshwar says that the forces have managed to restrain the protests. Nobody took any permission for the protest. The police did not resort to a lathi charge because there were women who were part of the protest.
The police had allowed them to sit on the road and protest. After an hour it turned violent.
We had intelligence inputs, but did not know the exact numbers. Some male folk joined the protest and began pelting stones, he also said. We are investigating the matter. I do not know what their intention was when they attacked a police station, the Home Minister also pointed out. Only a probe will show if the mob had been provoked.
There were 20 policemen inside the station and 7,000 protestors outside. It is difficult to match such a huge mob. We do not know who the union leaders were behind this protest. We are also not sure which union was behind this protest.