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Special team to probe Maruti plant violence

Special team to probe Maruti plant violence

New Delhi: The Haryana government said on Monday that it has appointed a special team to investigate the 18 July clashes at the Maruti Suzuki India Ltd Manesar plant and Supreme Court lawyer K.T.S. Tulsi as public prosecutor to hasten the investigation into the event that led to the death of one company official.

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Bhargava said that the state government wants to look at the evidence and punish the “correct criminals".

Tulsi, a senior Supreme Court advocate, has been at the helm of the Criminal Justice Society of India for nearly three decades. He represented victims of a 1997 fire at the Uphaar Cinema in Delhi. He has also been involved in cases related to the 1984 anti-Sikh riots in Delhi.

The company reiterated that the violence didn’t stem from an industrial relations dispute over wages or working conditions, but was orchestrated mob violence at a time when operations had been normal over the past several months, Hooda said. “We have decided that the case not be treated as industrial unrest but criminal proceedings," Hooda said.

Production at the Manesar plant had come to a halt on 18 July, when a group of at least 150 workers attacked company officials. Following the violence, the charred body of an executive was recovered from the plant and 88 employees were admitted to hospitals in Gurgaon with injuries.

The company is yet to make a decision on resuming production at the plant. Its plant at Gurgaon is functioning normally.

Maruti will merge its own investigation process with that of the Gurgaon police, said S.Y. Siddiqui, its chief operating officer (administration).

“In the meeting, we have decided to join hands with the administration for further investigation," said Siddiqui. “We will be supporting the state government with the information we have gathered so far and whatever else they would like to know."

Apart from Bhargava and Siddiqui, Maruti Suzuki’s managing director Shinzo Nakanishi and chief operating officer (production), M.M. Singh, were also present in the meeting.

Earlier in the evening, Siddiqui said that the officials who were in intensive care were now out of danger. “At the moment, only seven officials are in hospital," he said.

Wednesday’s violence left at least 100 company officials, including Japanese executives, injured. Maruti’s production last year was disrupted by industrial action at the same plant, which caused a revenue loss of 2,500 crore.

The strike was called off following a tripartite agreement involving the management, workers and the Haryana government. It later emerged that 30 workers, who had been the strike’s main leaders, were paid by the management to quit the company. The workers received a combined 4.2-4.8 crore, Mint reported on 8 November.

amrit.r@livemint.com

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