Maruti Manesar plant violence: Haryana court convicts 31 workers of rioting

Posted March 11, 2017

A court in Gurgaon in Haryana has convicted 31 workers for the violence at the Maurti Suzuki factory in Manesar in 2012 in which a manager was set on fire in a conference room. Dev's wife Suparna is a deputy director in the defence ministry in New Delhi.

"Armed with iron rods and door beams of cars, the mob spread out in groups in the factory area and targeted supervisors, managers and executives. rendering many of their victims bleeding and unconscious", Maruti had said in a statement.

The additional sessions court ruled that 18 others were guilty of rioting, arson and damaging property.

The court will announce the sentences on March 17.

The 2012 flare-up marked a dark chapter in the spectacular story of Maruti. The Manesar factory was shut for a month leading to reduction in overall production, and 1200 police personnel were deployed at the plant.

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An impression had gained ground that the company was looking at Gujarat with keener interest.

The rampage had focused attention on the wide gap between the remunerations of contract labourers and permanent employees and how it became a source of strife on a modern shop floor. Before the verdict, several unions had warned that they would protest a decision against the workers.

However, the court acquitted 117 of the 148 employees chargesheeted in the case for the want of substantial proof.

"We will challenge the conviction in a higher court", Monu Kuhar, counsel for all the accused in the case, told AFP. "The stand of Maruti is vindicated". "Only 13 have been convicted for murder and these include former office-bearers". They were also demanding union rights. "But there is less than tenuous evidence to link any of these 13 workers to the fire".

Maruti Suzuki, which is majority owned by the Japanese parent company, is India's largest vehicle manufacturer with a 50% share of the country's booming auto market. He was identified from a tooth implant. The workers were arrested and charged with murder, rioting and unlawful assembly.