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Maruti factory violence: Haryana court hold 31 guilty, acquits 117
11 March 2017, 12:43 | Elizabeth Houston
Fire department personnel douse the fire after Maruti Suzuki workers ransacked and torched the HR office
Reports say 31 factory workers have been convicted in a north India court for taking part in violence at a factory run by the country's largest automobile manufacturer Maruti Suzuki that led to the death of a manager. The quantum of punishment for the convicted will be announced later.
The workers' union had accused Maruti of "anti-worker and anti-union activities".
The plant is now functioning with new staff.
The court cleared 117 accused who were also facing charges of murder, arson and rioting after hundreds of workers clashed with managers over wages and appointments at the Maruti Suzuki factory in Manesar. The violence had left over 40 people injured, mostly supervisors.
Several workers' unions had warned of protests if the court verdict was anti-workers.
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The judgment was passed by the Gurugram District court on Friday. The issue went out of control and the workers immediately began attacking senior management during talks, while the workers' union maintained that its representatives were attacked first.
The charred body of Dev was found after the blaze was doused.
However, the court acquitted 117 of the 148 employees chargesheeted in the case for the want of substantial proof. "Only 13 have been convicted for murder and these include former office-bearers. They have been implicated in the case and management witnesses have deposed against them because they stand for rights of workers". The police had said Dev was an asthma patient and became unconscious after inhaling smoke and got trapped in the fire. Public prosecutor Anurag Hooda, however, said it was a very serious crime. She added that the judgment "strongly vindicates" their stand while demolishing that of the prosecution.
Violence at Marutis Manesar plant flared over a disagreement between workers and the management.
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