More than a dozen garment manufacturing units were vandalized and over 100 cars were damaged after hundreds of factory workers in industrial belt of Udyog Vihar turned violent on Thursday afternoon. The workers pelted stones at the management in which one of the executives was injured.
The violence was triggered after workers of Gaurav International and Richa Global — garment manufacturing companies — were fed with rumours of a fellow worker dying in a hospital after being beaten up by the company administration. The worker was allegedly assaulted by the administration for reporting late to work on Tuesday and was admitted in a hospital. The police later said the injured worker was alive.
Around 1:40pm on Thursday, as workers came out for lunch, a mob joined them and started vandalizing cars parked inside the factory building on plot no. 236 of Udyog Vihar phase 2. Gradually workers from all 14 factories joined with sticks and stones, many of them without understanding the cause. All vehicles in the lane, where the 14 companies are located, were either set on fire or smashed.
The entire stretch of the road was crowded by workers who were pelting stones and wielding sticks. Visitors had to leave the area immediately and many of them ran towards the main road leaving their vehicles behind. Even the tea vendor ran away seeing the mob.
General Manager of Gaurav International, Sammi Chand, said a 32 year-old worker from the quality checking department was not allowed to register his attendance when he reported ten minutes late on Tuesday. “He had already come after two days leave. About 4 guards at the reception stopped him but he started abusing them and turned violent. They assaulted each other. Later a personal manager was called who assaulted him and the worker collapsed. He was rushed to a hospital and admitted there,” he added.
ACP (Crime) Rajesh Kumar said, “Chand was discharge on Wednesday from Safdarjung hospital. He complained to Udyog Vihar police station against the company. The matter was being investigated by the SHO who was waiting for the medical report but on Thursday his wife spread the news that Chand had succumbed to his injuries in the hospital.”
After the violence settled down, the police located Chand at his home. “He was absolutely fine,” said a police personnel.
According to the police more than 200 miscreants from outside the factory were called to provoke workers.
Gurgaon police commissioner Navdeep Singh Virk said, “The miscreants who turned violent were outsiders. There is no report of any death or injury and no one has come to us with any complaint. There has been major loss to the companies and we are investigating what triggered this incident. Nearly 1,000 cops were rushed to the area to control the situation.”
However, Mohan Singh, worker at garments unit said, “Fire tenders reached after 40 minutes. The police did not take action despite the complaint on Wednesday else this could have not happened.”
Mohan Malhotra, the injured manager of one of the factories was rushed to the Civil hospital where he is undergoing treatment.