Karnataka

Massive protest at Freedom Park

Malls put up nets to protect the glass facade from stone-pelting during the strike on Wednesday.

Malls put up nets to protect the glass facade from stone-pelting during the strike on Wednesday.   | Photo Credit: G.P. Sampath Kumar

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However, normal life in city was not affected during strike called by trade unions

The nationwide strike called by trade unions on Wednesday saw multiple organisations hold protests at Freedom Park and other parts of the city, but there was no disruption or violence. Workers from various unions attached to Joint Committee of Trade Unions (JCTU) staged a massive protest at Freedom Park to oppose the ‘anti labour policies’ of the Central government, .

Hundreds of farmers, factory and anganwadi workers and domestic help, among others, chanted slogans against the government’s policies. JCTU demanded a national minimum wage of ₹21,000 a month and the abolition of contract labour system. There were also calls for the government to stop the disinvestment of public sector undertakings.

“Due to anti- labour policies of the Central government, workers do not have social security. The Centre has taken the side of big corporates. We have gathered here to protest these decisions,”said Suresh, who works in Peenya industrial area.

Sharada, an anganwadi teacher from Koramangala, expressed anger over the government’s failure to meet their demands. “All we want is a basic pay. They are not ready to pay us but at the same time, extract a lot of work from us. This has been going on for several years,” she said.

Protesters expressed their disappointment with the police for denying permission to take out rallies and processions. “Both the Central and State governments have taken an anti-labour stand,” said a worker.

Kannada Chaluvali Paksha leader Vatal Nagaraj staged a protest near Majestic bus station and tried to stop buses but police dispersed the crowd. He was taken into custody and released later.

Confusion prevailed for some time when a group of people gathered at Town Hall with the intention of taking a procession to Freedom Park. The police prevented them from doing so.

At Devanahalli, which is outside the city limits, some protesters took out a bike rally.

Bengaluru remained unaffected by the strike, though traffic was not as heavy as usual during peak commuting hours in the morning. Bus, taxi, auto and metro services were not interrupted. BMRCL Chief PRO B.L. Yeshwanth Chavan said, “Namma Metro services were operated as per schedule. Considering the strike call, the police had enhanced security at stations. We did not notice any change in the footfall of passengers.”

BMTC operated all the scheduled services. “The strike call did not make an impact on services. All our 6,000 scheduled services were operated on Wednesday.”

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Printable version | Jan 26, 2020 7:32:51 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/massive-protest-at-freedom-park/article30520468.ece

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