31 convicted, 117 let off for Maruti plant violence

Maruti Sukuzi

Additional District and Sessions Judge R P Goel was expected to decide later on the quantum of punishment to the guilty - put in two categories as per the charges proved against them.

A large contingent of police was deployed at the court on Friday as a precautionary measure. Administration had imposed Section 144 in the district court premises and within 500 metres of the Maruti Suzuki plant in Manesar. A dispute between workers and management at the factory in Manesar in Haryana state ended in rioting in 2012.

The management has maintained that the workers attacked senior executive "during a discussion"; the workers have alleged that its representatives were attacked first.

The Maruti Suzuki plant suffered damage and the police later booked 147 workers in connection with the case.

New Delhi Television station reported that another 117 men were acquitted of charges of criminal conspiracy and murder Friday.

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Vrinda Grover, counsel for the Maruti workers, claimed the acquittal of 117 workers unequivocally demolished the foundation of the prosecution case.

Lawyers for the accused immediately announced plans to appeal against the convictions. And since the sessions court has set aside the contention of the manager's death being preplanned, it will work in their favour, she added.

More than 30,000 workers boycotted their meals on Thursday and warned of "further action" if their colleagues "did not get justice". The unions have chose to hold a meeting in the evening at Kamla Nehru Park to further discuss their strategy.

Meanwhile, Khushi Ram, general secretary of the Mazdoor Sahyog Kendra, Gurgaon, said the union will continue to fight until all workers are acquitted.

The company had sacked 2,500 employees after the incident and the plant was closed for over a month.

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