Bengaluru, Jan 8 | The all-India shutdown call by trade unions and other organisations on Wednesday showed little impact in this tech city as it turned out to be a normal working day, an official said.
“No effect of shutdown in the city though banking operations are affected as bank staff is supporting the trade unions,” the official told IANS here.
However, thousands of workers participated in other parts of Karnataka protesting the central government’s anti-labour laws and privatisation attempts.
The six major demands of the protesting trade unions are that the Centre should drop the proposed labour reforms, raise minimum wage in the range of Rs 21,000 – Rs 24,000 per month, and stop privatisation of public sector undertakings (PSUs).
Other demands include opposition to privatisation of railways and corporatisation of 49 defence production units, merging 44 labour laws into four codes and the repealing of the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA), National Register of Citizens (NRC) and National Population Register (NPR).
Protesters were seen carrying the red trade union flags at several places such as Hassan, Chamarajanagar, Tumakuru, Mysuru, Bengaluru and others.
Massive protests were seen in Peenya, and Neelmangla areas of Bengaluru. At the busy Majestic location in the city, politician Vatal Nagaraj joined the protesters.
A massive protest is currently underway at the Freedom Park in the city, with the agitators chanting in Kannada against the government.
In Madikeri, stones were pelted at a bus and some protesters were detained in Kolar.
Thousands of women participated in Mysuru wearing pink sarees.
The All India Trade Union Congress (AITUC), Centre of Indian Trade Unions (CITU), Indian National Trade Union Congress and Labour Progressive Federation (LPF) have given the Bharat Bandh call.
Karnataka Chief Minister B. S. Yediyurappa instructed the intelligence chief and additional director general of police Kamal Pant to maintain law and order in view of the Bharat bandh when he apprised him of the situation.
Police tightened security across the city by deploying 11 deputy commissioners of police (DCPs), 23 assistant commissioners of police (ACP), 111 inspectors, 316 sub-inspectors, 476 assistant sub-inspectors, 4,547 constables along with 82 platoons of Karnataka State Reserve Police (KSRP).
Bengaluru police commissioner Bhaskar Rao appealed to protesters not to inconvenience the general public.
“No organizations permitted processions and all have obliged. We will do everything to keep city peaceful and normal. Protesters can exercise their democratic rights at Freedom Park. Call 100, if you need anything,” tweeted Rao.
In Bengaluru city, Metro services were not affected by the nationwide strike. In view of the shutdown, security was beefed up at the Metro stations.
Meanwhile, the Karnataka Congress party has extended full support to the shutdown call, appealing to its party workers to take active part in protests.
“I call upon everyone to vehemently oppose the hostile polities of Narendra Modi government and defend the rights of working class people,” tweeted Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee (KPCC) working president and Bhalki MLA Eshwar Khandre.