Nation Current Affairs 22 Apr 2016 EPF row: Bengaluru p ...

EPF row: Bengaluru pays price for police, intel failure!

Published Apr 22, 2016, 4:19 am IST
Updated Apr 22, 2016, 4:25 am IST
‘Cops should have spoken to union leaders after protest, pacified them, to avert trouble on Tuesday’.
A file picture of police beating up a garment factory worker who protested against recent amendments to EPF, in Bengaluru on Tuesday	 (Photo: KPN)
 A file picture of police beating up a garment factory worker who protested against recent amendments to EPF, in Bengaluru on Tuesday (Photo: KPN)

Bengaluru: The police and the Intelligence knew about the April 18 & 19 protest by the garment factory workers against the proposed amendment to the Employees Provident Fund (EPF) but they neither prevented it nor were they able to control the mass violence and destruction. "It was a collective failure and sheer negligence, which led to large scale destruction and violence,” said an officer.

Tuesday was inexcusable: Officer
“Monday's protest was an aberration. The police were not prepared for it, but what happened on Tuesday is inexcusable.  How could the police or Intelligence not anticipate fresh trouble on an issue like their life savings, which is so dear to the low income group?

They should have visited garment factories in their jurisdiction after the protest on Monday evening as a confidence building exercise and addressed the union leaders and the workers to ensure that there was no fresh trouble on the next day.

Along with the police some local leaders should have accompanied them but nothing was done and the next day the mob surged again in bigger numbers and the entire protest was sabotaged by rowdies and anti social people, who vandalized public property and indulged in arson,” said an officer on condition of anonymity.

‘SP, Bengaluru, rural, was at risk’
Narrating the sequence of events on Tuesday the officer said that the Superintendent of Police, Bangalore, rural, Rajesh B had rushed to Hebbagodi police station around 9.30 am after hearing that the crowds had gathered at the Hosur Road junction and blocked the traffic. “He addressed the mob, but he too couldn’t assess the magnitude of the situation. He could have been lynched,” said the officer.

Delayed reinforcements
The first reinforcements; of five platoons from the city, came much later followed by additional KSRP companies. “The Inspector General of Police, Central Range Arun Chakravarthy could arrive only after four hours.

The mob had set a BMTC bus on fire. If the LPG cylinders, which were kept near the Hebbagodi police station had caught fire the station would have been gutted along with the SP and other officers inside. The crowd would have vandalized Biocon campus completely,” said the officer.

Police acted with restraint: Karnataka Home Minister
Defending the police intelligence and the police action during two day violence in the city, Home Minister Dr G. Parameshwar has denied the allegation that the violence was politically sponsored.

After meeting with senior police officers on Thursday, the Minister told reporters that while the garment factory workers protested peacefully, some anti-social elements joined them and indulged in violence.

“The police exercised utmost restraint before resorting to lathi charge. When the miscreants set police station ablaze, there were gas cylinders stored in a nearby building. Had they caught fire, at least 500 people would have got killed.

So far, police have arrested over 243 anti-social elements in this connection. The police are inquiring as to who instigated these anti-social elements to join the protesters,"' Dr Parameshwar said.

When asked why such a massive protest erupted, though the Union Government's notification affected entire country, Dr Parameshwar said that the a social media report was published in a vernacular newspaper. “Contrary to belief that only garment workers protested, workers from other industries had also joined them,” Dr Parameshwar said.

When asked about rumours that it was politically sponsored violence, Dr Parameshwar answered negatively. "I don't think such violence can be sponsored either by the government or by politicians,"' he said.

When asked about High Court remarks on intelligence failure and vacancy in police department, Dr Parameshwar said that he did not wanted to comment on court judgment.

However, sanctioned posts in police department was one lakh and every year, around 4,000 get retired. The recruitment is an ongoing process as and when they retire. The department has to manage every situation with existing force," Dr Parameshwar added.

Location: India, Karnataka, Bengaluru


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