Bengaluru

A leaderless protest

The protests was spontaneous, unorganised and leaderless. And, it turned out to be a major challenge for the police.

When senior police officers rushed to Bommanahalli junction to persuade the protesters to give way for traffic, the challenge was that the protesters did not even have specific demands.

“We tried calling a few of the protesters for talks, understand their demands and see what we could do. But none came forward. They had no leader and no specific demand, except that they wanted justice. Many among them were also misinformed of the amendments to the EPF scheme,” said Commissioner N.S. Megharik.

What triggered the protests?

Even unions are still at a loss as to what triggered the protests. K.R. Jayaram of the Garments and Textile Workers Union said that a local Kannada daily carried a story on Saturday that henceforth workers cannot withdraw money from their PF accounts, which triggered panic in the workforce.

Workers of Shahi Exports in Bommanahalli took the first step when they congregated at Kodichikkanahalli on Monday morning. Garment workers in various units said that their counterparts in other factories persuaded them to join the protest. A worker said that they planned to go to the nearest EPF office, in Singasandra, but ended up blocking Hosur Road.

Other garment factories too were hit

Following protests by garment workers in Bommanahalli, Ramanagaram and Maddur, workers in other factories in these areas and other industrial areas with a sizeable number of garment units too wanted to take to the streets, but were dissuaded by union leaders.

Despite this, K.R. Jayaram of the Garments and Textile Workers Union said that work was affected in various garment factories in Peenya industrial area, Yeshwantpur and off Mysuru Road. Workers in these factories stayed indoors but did not work.

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Printable version | Apr 19, 2021 3:02:19 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/bangalore/A-leaderless-protest/article14245968.ece

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