The Peenya police arrested a 45-year-old supervisor on the charge of assaulting two pourakarmikas in T. Dasarahalli on Tuesday. The police are on the lookout for the contractor, who was also involved in the incident.
Anjanamma (45) and Shivamma (35) filed a complaint with the Peenya police against the contractor Sunil G. and supervisor Ranganatha.
In her complaint, Anjanamma alleged that when she asked Sunil her salary of last month, he started abusing her and told Ranganatha to hit her. However, Shivamma, who was standing next to Anjanamma, received a blow to the side of her head.
Ranganatha was arrested for assault and under various sections of the SC/ST Atrocities Act and remanded in judicial custody. Sunil is absconding, police said.
According to Anjanamma, the argument started when she sought her wages. "He said, 'No one else has asked. What gives you the right to?" When I persisted, Sunil held my wrists so that the supervisor could hit me," she told The Hindu .
Other pourakarmikas in the zone had protested in February for getting the increased wages and arrears. Sunil nursed a grudge against her for leading the protest, Anjanamma claimed.
Sunil reportedly filed a counter-complaint with the Peenya police that the two pourakarmikas beat him with their broom sticks. He refused to take calls.
Venkatachalapathy, Joint Commissioner of Dasarahalli zone, said, "I will investigate and take appropriate action."
Payment erratic in outer areas
Although Chief Minister Siddaramaiah had announced an increase in the pay of pourakarmikas from August 2016, none of them in Bengaluru had seen a hike until February 2017.
After a protest in March, pourakarmikas in some areas received revised wages for January and February.
According to the BBMP, pourakarmikas of Dasarahalli zone have also received the arrears from August till November 2016.
“Revised wages for January and February have been paid. March wages are yet to be paid,” said Venkatachalapathy, Joint Commissioner, Dasarahalli zone.
However, one of the pourakarmikas in Dasarahalli said that they are yet to receive the revised wages for January and February. “We were given an additional ₹5,000 and told that it was the arrears for three months from August to October when the actual amount would have been much more,” she said.
In Mahadevapura zone, contractors had confiscated passbooks and ATM cards of pourakarmikas.
After a meeting last week with contractors and contract pourakarmikas, Joint Commissioner (Mahadevapura) Vasanthi Amar said that awareness programmes would be organised to educate pourakarmikas of their rights. "Every worker should have an account, which they should be able to access and manage on their own," she said.
However, no action has been taken against the contractors.
After the meeting, one of the pourakarmikas said that the contractors had promised to hand over the increased wages. "They also promised to return our passbooks after four months," he added.