31Maruti employees convicted for violence in Manesar factory

Maruti Sukuzi

The quantum of punishment will be decided on March 18 during the next hearing, defence counsel Rajendra Pathak told PTI.

The plant is now functioning with new staff. Assembly of more than five people has also been prohibited in the 500 metres radius of MSIL plant and Gurgaon court. In his 508 pages long order, the court found that the 90 workers had no links with the violence.

According to Maruti, the unrest had erupted when a worker beat up a supervisor and the workers' union prevented the management from disciplining the worker and blocked exit gates.

The violence had left Maruti Suzuki Human Resource Department General Manager Ashwin Kumar Dev dead and over 50 persons injured. The police had said Dev was an asthma patient and became unconscious after inhaling smoke and got trapped in the fire.

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"The acquittal of 117 workers shows that the substratum of the case has collapsed", said Rebecca John, another lawyer for the accused, who said that those convicted would appeal. "Only 13 have been convicted for murder and these include former office-bearers". "The stand of Maruti is vindicated".

Earlier, the court divided the convicts in two categories, as per the charges proved against them.

The violence that took place in the Manesar plant was a result of continues strikes by workers at the factory demanding trade union rights. A criminal conspiracy was hatched on July 18 afternoon (2012), when the workers were asked in the first shift to not return home, but to continue assembling in the plant.

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