Millennium Post

Protest march: Maruti workers seek release of arrested staff

To mark the first anniversary of the violence that rocked Maruti’s Manesar plant near Gurgaon, over 500 sacked workers of the company took out a protest march —Chalo Manesar — on Thursday.
The protesters were demanding the release of the 147 employees who have been languishing in jail for the past one year. The agitating labourers said that since they were not responsible for the riot, the arrested workers must be released from prison immediately.
The protest march was largely peaceful, with protesters saying that they did not want to indulge in any illegal activity.

The Gurgaon administration was geared up to ensure that the march went off peacefully. Around 1,000 policemen had been deployed to deal with any possible untoward incident. Prohibitory orders under Section 144 of the Criminal Procedure Code has also been imposed in areas surrounding the plant to prevent any violent incident.

The order was imposed in the entire area covering IMT Manesar, Devi Lal Park, National Highway 8 and Mini Secretariat Gurgaon.
Despite the prohibitory orders, the provisional committee of the workers’ union, formed by those dismissed from Maruti’s Manesar plant after last year’s labour conflict decided to go ahead with its Chalo Manesar march.

On 18 July last year, violence broke out after a suspended Maruti Udyog worker allegedly slapped a supervisor at the Manesar plant. Workers ran amok, setting fire to a wing in the building.
Senior human resource manager Awnish Kumar Dev had been killed and over 100 people injured in the incident. The company had subsequently sacked nearly 2,500 workers.

The protesting workers demanded that their jobs be returned and a CBI probe or an inquiry by a sitting judge of the Punjab and Haryana High Court be carried out into the incident.
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