The arrest of two employees of the Bangalore Metro Rail Corporation Ltd (BMRCL) for allegedly attacking a few police constables on security duty at a Metro station near the City Civil Court in Central Bengaluru led to a massive strike by BMRCL staff on Friday resulting in disruption of Metro train services till noon. The BMRCL staff later called off their protest after the state government warned them of the invoking of the Essential Services Maintenance Act (ESMA) if they failed to resume work.
Thousands of people who depend on Metro services to reach their workplaces, colleges and other places were shocked on Friday morning as the Metro service did not commence. The people who came to know about the protest from the Metro staff had to catch public transport buses and taxis to commute.
Chandra Shekar, a regular metro commuter said that he rushed to the Metro station at Mahalakshmi Layout around 8 am and learn to know that there were no services due to the protest by BMRCL employees. “I took a cab to reach office. Hundreds of people suffered the same problem in the morning at the station,” he said.
The Bengaluru city police said that there was a clash between the staff of BMRCL and constables attached with Karnataka State Industrial Security Force (KSISF) at the station near the Civil Court on Thursday morning and a case and counter case was registered on Thursday evening.
“We have arrested two Metro staff, for the alleged attack on the police and we have also arrested two police constables who involved in the clash with the BMRCL staff,” Additional Commissioner of Police (East Zone) Hemanth Nimbalkar said. He was assigned by the senior officials to deal with the issue.
According to the FIR registered based on a complaint by Anand, KSISF constable, an incident took place around 6.15 am on Thursday at the metro station. A woman constable Bharathi Badakambi who was screening people at the entrance stopper a BMRCl maintenance worker identified as Rakesh was not undergoing the security check. But, Rakesh did not heed the orders of the police and instead allegedly abused her. This woman led to a police constable Anand and other police constables swinging into action and asking Rakesh to undergo the security check. A clash occurred and Rakesh allegedly gathered a gang of his colleagues in the station around 9.30 am and they assaulted constables Anand, Lakshman and others. The clash was taken place for 30 minutes until the jurisdictional police rushed to the scene.
The Halasuru Gate police took several people involved in the clash from both parties. Initially, the police tried to convince them for compromise as both the parties are public servants. Later they registered cases against both parties on the basis of complaint and counter-complaint.
The police arrested two policemen involved in the clash and also two Metro staff including Rakesh. The BMRCL employees who came to know about the arrest of their colleagues stated to stage a protest demanding the immediate release of their colleague on Thursday. They continued their protest at all the station and did not allow o start metro service on Friday morning and it affected thousands of public to reach their destinies in time due to the protest.