A former Maruti Suzuki employee was arrested in connection with the murder of a general manager during last year’s violence at the company’s plant in Manesar, the crime branch said on Friday.
Violent clashes had broken out at the plant on July 18 after a suspended worker allegedly slapped a supervisor. Awanish Kumar Dev died of burns he suffered during arson, attacks on the company executives and destruction of property by workers that led to the temporary closure of the plant and halting of production.
“The accused has been identified as Pradeep Kumar, who is from Haryana’s Kaithal district. He worked as a welder at the plant for five years,” said Ravindra Yadav, additional commissioner of police (crime).
After the incident, the company had dismissed some 546 permanent and 1,800 contractual workers. Of them, 147 workers, including then union leaders, were jailed and are currently facing trial.
On Thursday, the crime branch received an input that Pradeep would come to Shalimar Bagh. “He was held when he came to meet a friend around 6.30pm,” Yadav said.
Pradeep told police that he was on B-Shift duty on that day. “The employees of A-Shift assembled at the gate after their shift duty at 3.30pm. He joined them in the protest against the suspension of one Jiya Lal,” Yadav added.
The mob became violent and Pradeep along with others damaged property and manhandled the management staff. They also set the administrative office on fire. “Awanish was killed in the fire,” Yadav said.