An Indian court convicted 31 workers Friday over an outburst of deadly violence at a auto plant in 2012, including 13 for murder, during one of the country's worst episodes of labour unrest.
The quantum of punishment to those convicted will be pronounced on March 18, defence counsel Rajendra Pathak said. During the labour unrest in 2012, the then Maruti's general manager (human resource) Awanish Kumar Dev was burned to death by workers.
Several workers' unions had warned of protests if the court verdict was anti-workers.
Reacting to Friday's court verdict, workers of various factory/industrial units based in Gurugram and nearby Dharuhera area of Haryana held a meeting in the evening at Gurugram's Kamla Nehru Park to chalk out their future strategy. The matter had taken a serious turn when the workers had set one of the floors on fire. "Only 13 have been convicted for murder and these include former office-bearers". His charred body was identified by a tooth implant. They were also demanding union rights. She added that the judgment "strongly vindicates" their stand while demolishing that of the prosecution.
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New Delhi Television station reported that another 117 men were acquitted of charges of criminal conspiracy and murder Friday.
Violence had erupted at the plant over disciplinary action against an employee during which agitated workers had gone on the rampage, torching a part of the factory, beating Avanish Kumar Dev who sustained fractures in hands and legs and then setting the building on fire.
Earlier, the court divided the convicts in two categories, as per the charges proved against them.