The state brutality on the belligerent workers of Maruti Suzuki shows sign of no abatement.
Since March workers were on peaceful protest in Kaithal in Haryana.
The workers, who have been either dismissed or suspended from work after the incident of that took place in the factory premises on 18th July 2012, today have been arrested in mass along with several activists and supporters in Kaithal District of Haryana. To protest against this high handedness of the state apparatus the representatives of workers union (Maruti Suzuki Workers Union) along with the several workers were on peaceful demonstration in front of the Deputy Commissioner’s office in Kaithal since 24th March.
On 19th the workers Union had given a call for peaceful demonstration in front of industry minister Surjewala’s house, this call had elicited a massive solidarity from various revolutionary left, democratic and progressive force, as a result the state machinery that has been brazenly conniving with the Maruti management and has been acting as companies henchmen came into full force.
Yesterday the police virtually attacked the peaceful protesters and even resorted to lathi charge (Beating with baton) and forcefully evicting them.
Today, they have arrested not only the members of Provincial Committee of the Union but also those who had gone to Kaithal to express their solidarity.
This is dictatorial attitude of the Haryana Government in its pursuit of neo-liberal polity.
We appeal to Comrades all over the world to please hold demonstration and protest in solidarity of belligerent workers who are part of the world working class revolution.
The text of press release circulated by MSWU
MARUTI SUZUKI WORKERS UNION
Reg. No. 1923
PRESS RELEASE: 20th May 2013
We are facing one of the most brutal repression by the government on our movement. While we have adopted the democratic and peaceful means available to demand the release of arrested 147 workers, withdrawal of and reinstatement of terminated 546 permanent and 1800 contract workers, the government has only responded with force and malice and in collusion with the Maruti Suzuki company management.
Our peaceful dharna has been going on since 24th March, which included hunger strike, deputations, rallies, which are all in the ambit of our democratic right guaranteed in the Constitution. This was forcibly broken on 18th May by the huge police force of thousands of personnel in riot gear, tear gas etc. They came in before curfew under Sec.144 was declared on the entire town of Kaithal at 5pm with effect till midnight of 19th May to prevent our call for a protest demonstration on 19th May in front of the residence of Haryana Industries and Commerce Minister, Randip Singh Surjewala. Thousands of people from across Haryana and other pro-worker people from across the country were to come to express solidarity.
At 11.30pm on 18th May those on the site of the dharna, 96 workers and activists were arrested and sent to Kaithal Jail under Sections 188, 341, 506, 511. This includes a member of the Provisional Working Committee, MSWU, Yogesh Gawande, and two Trade Union activists who have been coming in support, Shyamveer who is a correspondent of the workers newspaper, Nagrik and an activist with Inqlabi Mazdoor Kendra, and Amit and who is a workers’ movement activist and current Phd student in Economics dept, CESP, JNU, New Delhi. On the morning of 19th May, 4 more workers were arrested from their homes in the villages nearby.
On 19th May 2013, we decided to go ahead with our pre-declared program, and around 1500 people started coming in solidarity from across Haryana in the morning. These included primarily workers and our family members and relatives, and people from village Panchayats, democratic and mass organizations and individuals. A huge police force and CID Haryana personnel were all over the Bus Station, Railway Station and all points in the town to follow and stop anyone who was coming for support. We gathered near Pyoda village 2km from the city limits, and started to peacefully march to register our protest, that all those arrested on 18th May night be released immediately so that talks can happen. Barricades and a huge police contingent of over 2000 personnel with water cannons and tear gas vehicles, stopped us on the road next to Surjewala’s residence.
At 6.30pm, without any warning, the stationed police force started a brutal lathi-charge and tear gas and water cannons were unleashed mercilessly on the protestors, which included in large majority, women, children and old men. Hundreds were seriously injured and admitted to the hospital. The police came with a second round of lathi-charge when people were still in a state of shock. The government has acted with malicious intention, and with a view to crush the struggle while all wanted to do was register our peaceful protest in front of our elected representatives, and yesterday’s actions and arrests shows this.
Eleven workers and activists were arrested on completely fabricated charges of serious nature. These are:
Ramniwas of Provisional Working Committee, Maruti Suzuki Workers Union
Deepak Bakshi who is advisor to the MSWU and General Secretary of Hindustan Motors-Sangrami Shramik Karamchari Union, Kolkata
Somnath who is a correspondent of the workers newspaper, Shramik Shakti
Suresh Koth, who is panchayat leader from Koth village, Hissar dist, Haryana
and three more people, whose names are still unclear.
They have been charged under non-bailable Sections 148, 149, 188, 283, 332, 353, 186, 341, 307 (attempt to murder) of the IPC, 3 of P/D, TPDA, 8NH for blocking the highway and 25 (54 and 59) of the Arms Act. They have been
produced in the Kaithal Court today 20th May 2013 and sent to 14days of Judicial Custody.
This is a serious pre-meditated assault on especially those of the active workers and activists who have stood in solidarity with us and to show us again as criminals only because we continue to protest against the wrongs that have been done to us for the last two years since 4th June 2011, and especially since 18th July 2012 when it became apparent that the government is openly siding with the company against workers and activists. This is the reward the government has again given us workers for asking for our rights which are guaranteed in the Constitution.
We appeal to all workers, trade unions and workers organizations, democratic rights and civil rights organizations and mass organizations and democratic minded individuals and to come out in protest in this hour when we need all forms of solidarity. We reiterate our just demands of releasing all the arrested workers and activists and reinstatement of terminated workers.
Provisional Working Committee
Maruti Suzuki Workers Union
The day of protest by Maruti workers
Who is responsible for the violence in Maruti Suzuki? (Published in Revolutionary Democracy Journal)
Maruti Suzuki Strike: (This report gives the events in chronological order as they unfolded in Maruti plant since start)
(Published in Revolutionary Democracy Journal)