Car major to compensate family of deceased official

In a significant breakthrough in the investigation into the recent violence at Maruti Suzuki’s Manesar plant, 10 leaders of the plant’s disbanded union were arrested by the Haryana police on Wednesday.

The arrested, who include Maruti Suzuki Workers Union (MSWU) President Ram Mehar Singh and General-Secretary Sarabjit Singh, are alleged to have incited the clash on July 18 at the plant. The violence left a senior company official dead and 96 others injured.

“This morning, Sarabjit Singh surrendered before the police,” a source close to the development told Business Line. Media reports said most of the MSWU office members were arrested from Haryana’s Hissar district.

“These ten workers will be produced in court on Thursday, two other office-bearers are already in the custody of the Gurgaon police,” a police spokesperson said. In all, this takes the total count of worker arrests by the police to 114.

These arrests are expected to speed up the investigation into the Manesar plant violence and help the Haryana Government’s special investigation team, under Assistant Commissioner of Police Ravinder Tomar, round up all the culprits involved.

Maruti Suzuki is expected to consider re-starting the facility that has been closed for two weeks, but only if the investigation is complete and the security of officials can be assured.

Separately, multiple workers’ unions of plants in the Gurgaon-Manesar belt met on Wednesday to decide on how to support their colleagues at the Manesar facility of Maruti. They said an official protest may follow if the company decides to suspend workers en masse and if the police continue what they called the indiscriminate arrests.

“Workers are also being picked up for questioning by the police from other plants. On Tuesday, a worker from Maruti’s Gurgaon plant was picked up, but released today,” a union official said.

Meanwhile, Maruti Suzuki has assured compensation to the family of the deceased official, Ashwani Kumar Dev, adding that his family would be entirely taken care of.

A panel of five doctors has also been set up by the company to review the condition of the injured officials and to ascertain the need for any counselling.

roudra.b@thehindu.co.in

(This article was published on August 1, 2012)
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