SIT to probe Maruti’s fresh violence

July 19th, 2012 - 9:50 pm ICT by IANS  

Gurgaon, July 19 (IANS) A Special Investigation Team (SIT) has been constituted to probe Wednesday’s labour unrest and fire incident in Maruti Suzuki’s Manesar plant, in which an official was burnt alive and over 50 employees were injured, Haryana Police said Thursday.

The SIT, headed by Assistant Commissioner of Police Ravinder Tomar and including six inspector ranked officials, will probe the incidents at Manesar plant, police said.

“Over 50 senior executives, including two Japanese, were injured and admitted to various private hospitals,” Deputy Commissioner of Police Maheshwar Dayal told reporters. Police were conducting raids to arrest the union leaders involved in the incidents, Dayal added.

The accused were Thursday presented before the court of Duty Magistrate Ritu Malik and were sent to judicial custody in jail.

The man who died in the fire at the plant was identified as Ashwin Kumar Dev, the general manager of the car maker major’s HR department. Dev hailed from Ranchi in Jharkhand.

On the other hand, 91 workers were arrested Wednesday night. They have been accused of murder, attempt to murder and several other offences.

Fearing police action, workers of Maruti company Thursday remained absent from their duty. Though heavy police force were deployed at the effected plant, there was not a single agitator in sight. The other employees and trade union activists remained absent from the spot.

According to sources, hundreds of workers living in rented accommodation in villages near Maruti plant, vacated their rooms during Wednesday night and moved to as yet unknown places.

Wednesday thousands of protesting workers allegedly locked the main gates of the company’s plant, trapping officials inside.

The labour unrest followed the suspension of a worker, Jiyalal, who had allegedly slapped supervisor Manjhi over his casteist abuse.

Meanwhile, Director General of Haryana Police Ranjeev Singh Dalal and Deputy Commissioner visited the effected plant.

The DGP said this is serious act of criminality and “we are going to take stern action against the guilty”.

The vigilance team from Maruti also visited the scene. Capt. Deepak Anand, who heads the vigilance department of Maruti Suzuki India Limited (MSIL), said he will camp here till the matter is resolved.

The control room and HR section of the company were completely destroyed in the fire.

The company’s latest plant at Manesar that manufactures some 1,200 cars per day on an average, has been specially designed for manufacturing diesel cars.

Maruti Suzuki has two plants in Gurgaon. Work at the Manesar plant had to be stopped. The Gurgaon plant operated normally.

In September and October 2011, production at Manesar plant was also severely effected due to labour unrest. Later, in the first week of November the then union leaders had resigned after accepting hefty dues.

The current labour union (Maruti Suzuki Workers Union) headed by Rameshwar Singh was formed March this year.

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