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Police High-handedness at Maruti

Based upon its preliminary investigation, the People’s Union for Democratic Rights (PUDR) asserts that instead of a thorough investigation into the alleged murder of Awanish Dev, human resources (HR) manager, Maruti Suzuki’s Manesar plant on 18 July 2012, the Haryana police have been responsible for arbitrary ­arrests of workers, illegal detention and harassment of their family members as well as custodial violence. Our findings reveal how miscarriage of justice has o­ccurred and continues at many levels.

(1) Identifying Suspects: A large number of the over 145 arrests of workers that have been made are unrelated to the crimes in the first information report. There have been different rounds of ­arrests. The first 93 arrests, for instance, took place at random on 18-19 July and included workers not even present at the factory site. Subsequently, apart from union office-bearers arrested, many coordinators nominated for routine union work were arrested. Many of the workers who have been arrested are those who were also active in the 2011 protests. Testimonies reveal that the basis of arrests is a list of names, provided by the company, of workers who were arti­culate or otherwise active in the union. On 17 August, the SHO Manesar PS admitted in open court that the names of several workers being arrested is based on a list provided to the police by the company. The use of hired bouncers to create fear and intimidation in a situation that began as a routine conflict between a worker and a supervisor is shocking. Many were in the Maruti uniform without the badge. An entire list of those involved in the crime is therefore yet to emerge clearly.

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