Maruti Suzuki's human resources (HR) general manager (GM) was charred to death in the violence triggered by the company's workers on Wednesday night.
On Thursday, a tense calm prevailed at the Maruti plant as it was shut following the arson in which Awanish Kumar Dev, GM, HR, was burnt beyond recognition while 100 others were injured.
Kumar's body was identified by his family on Thursday and the company alleged that the violence was an orchestrated act of mob, which had implications beyond one company or region.
The arrested 91 employees have been produced before a local magistrate and remanded in 14 days judicial custody. They have been accused of various charges, including rioting with weapons, murder, attempt to murder, unlawful assembly, assault and trespass.
The violence in which several executives, managers and supervisors were attacked and office facilities, security office and fire-safety section gutted, arose out of an alleged casteist remarks by an official against a worker.
The worker allegedly had beaten him up following which he was suspended and that triggered the large-scale violence. The Haryana government and the police have assured of action against those responsible for the violence.
The firm, which witnessed strikes on three occasions last year, has already announced plans to set up a new plant in Gujarat. Rejecting the company's charge, Maruti Suzuki Workers' Union (MSWU) accused the management of calling in hundreds of bouncers on its payroll to attack the workers.
It said instead of taking action against the supervisor, who was involved in a scuffle with a shop floor worker, "the management immediately suspended the worker concerned without any investigation". "When the workers along with union representatives went to meet HR to revoke the unjust suspension of the worker, the HR officials refused to hear the arguments" MSWU president Ram Meher said.
The union said it was ready for a dialogue with the management and wanted to resolve the issue. Taking a serious view of the violence, Haryana chief secretary PK Chaudhery said a special investigating team had been formed under assistant commissioner of police (ACP) Ravinder Tomar to investigate the matter.
Haryana DGP Ranjeev Singh Dalal visited the plant and said the police had taken over the entire plant to maintain law and order. "We are going to take stern action against the guilty," he said, adding that nothing could justify such kind of violence. He said the police had been on the field since last night to nab the culprits. But the ring leaders had run away and were absconding, he said.