Maruti Manesar violence case: 13 workers given life imprisonment

Maruti Suzuki Verdict

A court in northern India has sentenced 13 factory workers to life imprisonment for taking part in violence at the country's largest automobile factory that led to the death of a manager almost five years ago. In addition, four others have been sentenced to five years in prison, most of whom have already undergone over four years of incarceration.

The police had arrested 148 workers in connection with the murder, whereas 62 others could not be arrested and have been declared proclaimed offenders. "The entire case is part of management conspiracy to finish off the union, an attack on the right to union formation itself, and the demands - particularly of abolition of contract worker System - it was raising and symbol it became for workers struggle", it added.

Of the 18 other ex-workers, who had been convicted of various other offences like violence, rioting and attempt to murder, four have been given a sentence of 5 years.

Plants to go on strike include Maruti's plants in Gurgaon and Manesar; Maruti Suzuki's powertrain unit in Manesar, Suzuki Motorcycles unit in Manesar; and auto component firms Belsonica Auto and FMI Auto.

Factory workers of six plants, including three belonging to vehicle major Maruti Suzuki India, will go on a one-hour tool down strike tonight in order to express resentment over the conviction of workers in the 2012 Manesar plant violence. After hearing the arguments from the prosecution and the defence, the verdict stated that 13 of the prime accused in the murder of the manager has been awarded life imprisonment.

The guilty were put in three categories of 13, 14 and four workers depending on the charges proved against them. Fourteen more will be fined and released, the Hindustan Times reported. Some 100 people, including Japanese, suffered life threatening injuries, while plant equipment and office complex at the facility were burnt down. "We hope for justice in the superior court", Vrinda Grover, a defence lawyer, told the Indian Express newspaper.

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