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Joint probe into Maruti riot as lockout costs firm Rs 600 cr

Sharmistha Mukherjee / New Delhi 24 Jul 12 | 12:05 AM

In a move to fast-track the investigation, the Haryana government on Monday announced the appointment of a special prosecutor to frame criminal cases against those identified in connection with the violence at Maruti Suzuki’s Manesar plant last Wednesday.

Soon after a meeting with Haryana Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda, Maruti Suzuki India Chairman R C Bhargava said, “We have requested the government to speed up investigations and treat the matter as a criminal case and not as one of industrial dispute. The security aspect of our employees has to be looked into seriously so that normalcy can be restored at the unit." The Haryana government has agreed to appoint a special prosecutor, K T S Tulsi, to frame charges against those identified in connection with the incident. The losses incurred by the company and its vendors have mounted to Rs 600 crore due to the lockout at the Manesar facility.

A company official said, “Besides the revenue losses we are incurring due to the stoppage of production, our vendors are additionally taking a hit of over Rs 55 crore a day."

It was decided at on Monday’s meeting the inquiry being conducted internally by the company would be merged with the police investigation. S Y Siddiqui, chief operating officer (HR, IT, Admin), said, “We will support the police with whatever information they seek."

So far 97 workers have been arrested. Police sources say arrest warrants have been issued for 11 more members of the workers’ union. Meanwhile, CII chief Adi Godrej said, “We would urge the state government to quickly investigate the matter and punish all those responsible for the unfortunate turn of events." At a Mahapanchayat organised at Dhana village in Haryana, representatives of 100 villages collected and demanded a CBI inquiry into the incident.

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