Police said they had to resort to lathicharge and fire teargas shells to disperse violent protesters.
Some 20 Karnataka State Reserve Police squads, eight deputy commissioners of police and 300 policemen are trying to diffuse the tension on location, Additional Commissioner of Police (East) Harishekaran said. “Had we taken some extreme steps, it would have led to more injuries”, the state home minister said.
There were thousands of agitators who blocked the Mysore-Bengaluru highway which resulted in massive traffic jams in the city.
As protesters set vehicles parked inside the Hebbagodi police station on Hosur Road ablaze, the police opened fire.
Finally, the police used tear gas, and batons to control the mob.
It may be recalled that the government proposed the introduction of tax on provident fund withdrawal in the last Union Budget 2016, but was forced to withdraw that following countrywide resentment. They will be able to withdraw the employer’s contribution only after they are 58-years-old.
The protests come on a day the Narendra Modi government offer temporary reprieve in the matter, deferring the implementation of new rules by three months. At least three public buses were set on fire, said the police. According to Ministry of Labour and Employment, the relaxed norms will enable people to withdraw their PF for housing, medical emergency, education of children and for their marriage purposes.
Calling the amendments “anti-workers”, Jayaram KR from the Garment and Textile Workers’ Union said their primary issue was that many workers of unorganised sectors were unsure they will be employed till the age of retirement.
According to reports, several vehicles were burnt and incidents of stone throwing were reported.
“Now the situation is under control”, Megharikh said. Earlier, the employees could withdraw their entire balance after 60 days of resigning from a job.
Mr Dattatreya said a meeting of the Central Board of Trustees would be called “to see how best the employers’ contribution to EPF (3.67 per cent of basic wages) can be utilised for workers”.