Police looked on for 4 hrs as Maruti plant burned | chandigarh | Hindustan Times
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Police looked on for 4 hrs as Maruti plant burned

When mob created havoc inside Maruti's Manesar plants for more than 40 minutes while a contingent of 50 armed policemen - headed by an ACP - looked on. Eyewitnesses told HT how the police just watched and sprung into action only when the factory was set ablaze.

chandigarh Updated: Jul 24, 2012 11:42 IST

A mob of 600 men created havoc inside Maruti's Manesar plants for more than 40 minutes on Wednesday while a contingent of 50 armed policemen - headed by an assistant commissioner - looked on.

The police finally intervened, but only after HR executive Awanish Kumar Dev was thrashed mercilessly and burned to death.

Recounting the horror, several among the 100 executives who were beaten up that day told HT how the police just watched and sprung into action only when the factory was set ablaze.

Police chose not to act: Eyewitnesses

Several victims and eye-witnesses told HT that the Haryana police acted as mere bystanders when workers thrashed managers and supervisors last Wednesday at Manesar when a senior executive was killed and 100 others injured.

Victims said a contingent of armed police force, including SHO Om Prakash and Gurgaon ACP Ravinder Tomar, had come well before the violence erupted but chose not to act for at least an hour.

"Even if they had fired in the air, the tragedy could have been averted," a victim, speaking out for the first time since Wednesday, said.

"It is a miracle I am still alive. But no thanks to the police."

When questioned, the Haryana police rubbished the allegations. "If not for us, the number of casualties would have crossed 20," said KK Sindhu, Gurgaon commissioner of police. "The company management, which could not anticipate such level of violence, didn't want a huge number of police force outside its factory."

But the story of the survivors and eyewitnesses is a contrast to the police version.

According to an eyewitness, who requested anonymity for fear of being targeted, the mob of workers went on the rampage and continued to assault the managers and supervisors for over 40 minutes while the police remained a mute spectator.

"It was only after the workers started setting the property on fire around 7pm that the police swung into action," said another survivor who met HT at Gurgaon's Artemis hospital.

"Earlier, I had called one of the senior police officials to inform that the workers were assaulting the managers. I requested him to get the police inside the plant but he refused. Had they acted promptly, perhaps the life of Awanish would have been saved."

The police allegedly gave the culprits ample time to escape; the FIR of the crime was registered only at 11 at night, at least 4 hours after the ugly turn of events while the arrest order was issued well past midnight.