SIT report on Maruti violence says workers’ aim was to kill

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    SIT report on Maruti violence says workers’ aim was to kill

    New Delhi: The Maruti Suzuki workers who went on a rampage on 18 July at the Manesar plant, resulting in the death of one senior manager and injuries to scores of others, wanted to injure or kill all the management representatives present at the plant, says a source with access to the report of the Special Investigation Team (SIT) set up to probe the violence.

    The plant remained under lockout for a month thereafter and even though work has resumed, it is yet to reach peak capacity. Maruti has subsequently sacked 500 permanent workers, and refused re-employment to an equal number of temporary workers and overhauled the process of recruitment, besides also offering the remaining workers a hefty pay hike.

    Describing the worst case of violence in the history of Maruti in India, sources told Firstpost that according to the SIT report, the workers, who had been agitating earlier in the day, climbed up to the ‘management floor’ with the specific intention of killing everyone from the company’s management.

    They also said that these agitating workers were armed with door beams—which had been brought inside the Manesar factory premises earlier in the day on tractor trailers.

    “The workers rushed to the management floor, armed with door beams, with the specific purpose of killing managers there. Some of them began beating every one of the management people working there while some others blocked the staircase so that the exit was barred. They hit management people so badly that several of their body parts were fractured,” these sources said.

    They also said that while the beatings were going on, the workers collected three waste paper baskets, dumped any available files or papers lying nearby, and lit fires. By now, the victims were hiding under tables and running towards toilets in a frantic bid to escape the torture. “But since there was no escape route and smoke was fast filling up the room, fire leapt to the roof within five minutes, all furniture and curtains were also alight. This is when the policemen rushed upstairs and began to rescue beaten and bruised management people”.

    So why did the police not act earlier? These sources said over 70 policemen had been guarding the factory at its boundaries but rushed in and climbed to the management floor after they saw thick smoke billowing out of the windows.

    Policemen were escorting the management people downstairs when the they were attacked again by workers already present on the ground floor, these source said.

    If what the SIT is reported to have said is correct, then it will punch a lot of holes in theories floated by trade union activists after the violence when they held the Maruti management’s high handed ways and disregard for workers’ dignity as basic reasons for what happened in Manesar on 18 July.
     
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