The members of Maruti Suzuki Workers Union and trade unions of other auto companies were present in large numbers at the court complex in Gurgaon on Friday, reiterating their support for the workers convicted in the 2012 Maruti Manesar plant violence case.
The court was expected to declare the quantum of punishment for the convicted workers on Friday but it hasbeen reserved for Saturday.
Trade union leaders said they will fight in the higher courts and on the streets as it had become a battle between workers and the capitalist class that has maximum support from the government. “We were not allowed to sit inside the court and some of the workers were even asked to not attend the hearing. The workers have faith in the judiciary but they won’t allow the subversion of evidence as has been happening in this case,” Ajmer Singh, president, Maruti Suzuki Workers Union from the Manesar plant, said.
The Maruti union leaders also demanded compensation and jobs for the 117 acquitted workers. “All of them have spent three to four years in jail for committing no crime. Their lives have been destroyed. No one is ready to marry them and their families have lost hope. Who will save them?” Singh said.
The Maruti workers also said that there was intense pressure on them from the management to refrain from supporting their co-workers.
Satish Kumar, member of the Maruti Workers Provisional Committee, which is fighting for the expelled and incarcerated workers said many workers were in depression and have lost the zest for life after being involved in the case. “One of the convict’s sister committed suicide after he was arrested... There are several such instances of suffering,” he said.
A large number of trade union leaders from Gurgaon, Manesar, and Neemrana had also come for the hearing, and they unanimously pledged to support the cause of the convicted workers. “We had boycotted lunch and dinner on March 16. The future strategy will be formed once the verdict is announced,” Kuldip Janghu, a trade union lawyer, said.