Published: Sat, March 11, 2017
Medical | By Dorothy Lyons

India court convicts 31 over 2012 riot at Maruti Suzuki plant

India court convicts 31 over 2012 riot at Maruti Suzuki plant

A local court in Haryana convicted 31 persons and acquitted 117 in connection with Maruti Suzuki factory violence case.

The sentence will be pronounced on 17 March.

Avnish Dev, 51, General Manager, Human Resources of the company was burnt alive and almost 100 others injured on the evening of July 18, 2012 when agitating workers went on a rampage, attacking officials and torching the office.

The violence was triggered on the carmaker's premises after a supervisor allegedly abused and slapped a worker.

The plant is now functioning with new staff. "If 117 out of 148 have been acquitted of all charges I can only say it exposes the compete fabrication of evidence against the workers at the behest of the Gurugram Police and the Maruti (Suzuki) factory", said Rebecca John, a lawyer representing the workers to Bloomberg. The violence had left over 40 people injured, mostly supervisors.

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A large contingent of police was deployed at the court on Friday as a precautionary measure.

The management has maintained that the workers attacked senior executive "during a discussion"; the workers have alleged that its representatives were attacked first. His charred body was identified by a tooth implant.

On the 13 convicted, Grover said in a statement: "What is important to understand is that these 13 are the office-bearers of the union and the main leaders". They were also demanding union rights. He said that the prosecution's content of a pre-planned murder has been set aside. "The stand of Maruti is vindicated".

After the riots, almost 150 workers were arrested for doing criminal conspiracy and murder.

Violence had erupted at the plant over disciplinary action against an employee during which agitated workers had gone on the rampage, torching a part of the factory, beating Avanish Kumar Dev who sustained fractures in hands and legs and then setting the building on fire.

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