Traffic between Bengaluru and Mysuru was paralysed for several hours on Monday as hundreds of employees of a garment unit staged a protest near Maddur against the amendment to the Employees Provident Funds and Miscellaneous Provisions Act, 1952.
Employees of Shahi Exports Pvt. Ltd., near Gejjalagere in Maddur taluk, blocked the busy Bengaluru-Mysuru highway near Gejjalagere and at TB Circle in Maddur town.
Raising slogans against Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the garment employees squatted on the highway and blocked traffic.
Initially, the police allowed the protestors to stage a demonstration on one side of the highway and allowed two-way traffic on the other side of the road. Later, the protestors completely blocked the highway at the circle.
The police diverted the vehicles through Maddur-Kala Muddana Doddi-Malavalli road to avoid congestion of the Bengaluru-Mysuru highway.
Economist and journalist Raja Shailesh Chandra Gupta said that the police diverted the vehicles coming from Bengaluru via Kokkare Bellur bird nesting site to reach Mysuru. “It took nearly five hours to reach Bengaluru,” Shobharani, a law student in Bengaluru, said. According to her, hundreds of persons, stuck in KSRTC buses, reached Bengaluru and Mysuru by trains.
Meanwhile, the police used their batons to clear the agitators. The employees alleged that the management (of Shahi Exports Pvt. Ltd.) had requested the police to lathi-charge to disperse them.
A pregnant worker, who sustained injuries, has been hospitalised, Savithri, an employee, said.
Mandya Deputy Commissioner M.N. Ajay Nagabhushan and senior officials visited the protest venue to mollify the agitators, who gave up their agitation after some time.
The protest resulted in the highway witnessing bumper-to-bumper traffic for a long time.
A senior official said no case was registered in connection with the road-blocks.