Villagers back Maruti, want CBI probe
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People from around 100 villages congregated in Dhana village for a mahapanchayat on Monday, demanding a CBI inquiry into the violence at Maruti Suzuki's Manesar plant. A senior company official was killed and over 100 were injured in last week's clashes.
The mahapanchayat had representation from Aliyar, Dhana, Manesar, Kasan, Basskusla, Kankrola, Bangrola, Kho, Pukharpur, Naharpur, Mohammedpur, Farukh Nagar, Nawada, Wazirabad, among others. The villagers expressed their support to Maruti and condemned the incident.
"Maruti has been in Gurgaon for over 20 years now. It has helped Gurgaon become the Millennium City. Many industries and MNCs set up their establishments here after Maruti showed the way. We don't want Maruti to shut its plant here. This will send a negative message," Chaudhary Moolchand (65), sarpanch of Dhana village, said.
Later in the day, Haryana Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda announced that senior Supreme Court lawyer K T S Tulsi has been appointed special prosecutor for the trial of the accused in Wednesday's violence.
Last week, the Haryana government had announced a special investigation team (SIT) to probe the incident. But the mahapanchayat said it "has no faith in the SIT".
"We demand a CBI inquiry," said former Gurgaon Zila Parishad Chairman Rao Abhay Yadav, who presided the mahapanchayat.
"The SIT has members from districts, to which most of the trade union leaders and workers belong. We think the CBI should be given the charge to ensure that a free and fair inquiry is conducted and the guilty are punished," Moolchand said.
Coordinator of the Mahapanchayat, Vikram Singh, said village representatives must be involved in resolving disputes between company management and workers in order to prevent any future violence.
"Most of us have either rented out rooms to the workers, who come from distant places, or provide transportation services to them. The workers have vanished without paying their rents and the auto-drivers are sitting idle. If the lockout continues, how will we earn our livelihood?" he asked.
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