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Maruti chairman speaks on Manesar incident

Maruti Suzuki India, the largest car maker in India, is currently going through their worst time in history. Their workers at Manesar plant resorted to violence on Wednesday which left 1 dead, 50 injured and 100 arrested. Awanish Kumar Dev, who held the post of GM HR at the Manesar plant, was killed as a result of the violence which has left the 550,000 cars per year plant shut ever since. Speaking about the incident, R C Bhargava, Chairman, Maruti Suzuki India Ltd. said, “We never expected our own workers to resort to violence. There is indefinite lock-out at the Manesar plant.”

Addressing to the media, Mr Bhargava added that the plant will be shut indefinitely and will not resume operations until and unless the investigation team finds out who the real culprit was behind the entire episode, which has left Maruti Suzuki India ashamed.

Speaking about Awanish, the GM HR at Maruti’s plant who was killed, it has now emerged that he had resigned from his job six months back, as he had foreseen the workers rage. Awanish’s 45 year old brother, Avinash said, “There was simmering tension at the Manesar plant for quite some time and Awanish had put in his papers. He was very stressed out and could have seen this coming. He was all set to join another organisation but had finally decided to give in to the persuasion of senior officials of the company. Obviously, fate had this in store for him. We are now definite that the attack on my brother was pre-planned. It wouldn’t have been possible otherwise to summon over 3,000 people in such a short time. Our 80-year-old father, Rameshwar Saha is demanding a CBI probe into the incident.”

“We also suspect a strong political hand in this incident, but please do not ask me for names. As a family, we are now really afraid of what might follow,” Avinash said.

Suzuki Motors, the parent of Maruti Suzuki, has not faced anything of this capacity in their history. Suzuki Motors have scores of manufacturing plants the world over operations of which are spread across Hungary, Indonesia, Spain, Pakistan, Thailand, Malaysia, China and the Philippines. Speaking about shifting operations completely to the state of Gujarat, Shinzo Nakanishi, MD, Maruti Suzuki India said, “Gujarat is expansion of the Indian operations and not an alternative.”

Meanwhile at the Manesar plant, Haryana police is investigating the case thoroughly. They have identified almost every worker who was behind the violence. Maheshwar Dayal, DCP, Gurgaon Police, said, “No further arrests have been made so far but we have identified majority of the workers who instigated other workers and committed the crime.”

Speaking about the violence and investigation, Nakanishi added, “Suzuki Motor Corp has asked us not to compromise on violence. We are cooperating with the police and district administration in the investigations. If this is found to be planned and orchestrated from outside, I can’t accept this.”

Maruti Suzuki Manesar plant manufactures 1,600 cars every day. The losses that have amounted due to the violence and ensued shutdown of plant have now reached Rs 210 crores, losing Rs 70 crores per day. Maruti expects they will be able to once again be resuming smooth operations at Manesar in near future, but as of now they are thinking of a lockout.

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