A Haryana court has convicted 31 people and acquitted 117 in the 2012 Maruti Suzuki factory violence case. As many as 148 factory workers were arrested and charged with the murder of Awanish Kumar Dev, HR manager at the company’s Manesar plant on July 18, 2012.
Of the total 148 accused, 117 were exonerated of all charges. 13 of the 31 held culpable were convicted for murder under section 302 of the IPC, while the remaining 18 were charged with rioting.
What led to the violence was the continuing struggle by workers at Maruti’s Manesar Plant to form a union. The plant witnessed three strikes by the workers in 2011, who were demanding that they be given their trade union rights.
139 of these workers are out of bail, nine of the accused, including eight former union members, are still behind bars.
In all, 94 managers and supervisors and nine policemen were injured in the attack.
Additional District and Sessions Judge of Gurugram District Court delivered the verdict. The court has scheduled the afternoon session to declare the quantum of sentence for the convicted workers. General Manager Human Resources of the Manesar unit, Awanish Kumar Dev, was charred to death beyond recognition and several other executives were injured in a violent clash between the workers and the management on the plant premises.
The company sacked 2,500 workers after the violence and the plant was closed for over a month.
The plant is now functioning with new staff.
Before the judgement announced on Friday, Section 144 was imposed in Gurugram and additional cops were deployed at all sensitive spots as workers had threatened a protest if the judgement did not turn out in their favour.
“We are apprehensive and have grounds to believe that it will be a politically motivated anti-worker judgment. We will stand by those facing conviction or were left jobless after the incident,” an official statement released by Union reads.
Workers have also circulated an appeal to all unions across Gurugram to join their protest. In a display of solidarity, workers at all Maruti Suzuki factories boycotted the company lunch on Thursday and asked the management to secure the release of all workers.