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IT shops boycott Bangalore strike

Wipro office targeted by protestors as dispute over water rights rages

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India's IT capital, Bangalore, ground to a halt on Saturday after protests over the allocation of water.

The reason for the protests is a decision that one Indian State, Karnataka, must allocate water from the Kaveri river to another State, Tamil Nadu. Karanatakans think that's a bad idea as the State has a water shortage. The State government is therefore seeking to have the decision revisited.

One of the tactics used by protestors to bring about that outcome was a strike, or 'Bandh', across Karnataka. Bangalore is Karnataka's capital and the strike mean public transport and many businesses shut for the day.

Indian and global IT outfits, many of which operate from Bangalore and nearby locations, seem to have ignored the strike. Protestors didn't take kindly to that decision and, according to a report from CNN-IBN, entered Wipro's offices to express their displeasure.

The Wipro office in question, according to the Times of India, is a 24x7 operation from which it provides global services.

Wipro's website and social media accounts are silent on the subject.

The strike led to Bangalore's streets becoming deserted, a rare state of affairs in any large Indian city. Traffic is often so fierce that IT companies and call centres lure employees by advertising the quality of the buses they use to transport workers to their jobs. Air-conditioned buses are a big lure for would-be-workers who know they can expect protracted commutes. ®

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