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Bengaluru Riot Over New Provident Fund Rules, Massive Traffic Jams

Source | NDTV

BENGALURU: Thousands of garment workers in Bengaluru clashed with the police and set buses and cars on fire today, angry with the government over a controversial new rule for provident funds, which has now been withdrawn.

Workers threw stones at a police station and burnt several police vehicles as the protests – not led by any union – spiraled out of control. At least three public buses were set on fire, said the police.

The protesters also blocked traffic on the highway, causing five-hour jams in the IT city. 

Policemen fired in the air and used tear gas and batons to control mobs.

Bengaluru police commissioner NS Megharikh told NDTV that the protests were brought under control by afternoon and reports that a police officer had opened a fire when surrounded by a mob were being investigated.

Images on social media showed large crowds at the Hosur Road, which is a part of the highway. Stone-throwing was reported from parts of the city like Bannerghatta and Jalahalli cross, and the Electronics City, the hub of IT firms.

State home minister G Parmeshwara said: “There seems to be no leader for this protest. The police have acted with great restraint.”

The protests came after the government proposed changes in February to how employees can withdraw savings from the Employee Provident Fund or EPF.

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