Friday, 24 March 2017

More Than Ten Thousand Assemble to Protest the Malicious and Savage Convictions Imposed Upon 31 Maruti Workers

Our Correspondent/ 23.3.2017

Defying the ban order prohibiting any gathering of five or more, imposed by the police under section 144 of Criminal Procedure Code, more than Ten thousand workers gathered at Devi Lal Park at Manesar Gurgaon on Thursday evening.

The rally of the workers on March 23, was called to commemorate the martyr day of Bhagat Singh and his comrades, who were hanged by the British government in 1931 for their opposition to colonial rule, alongside the condemnation of Maruti convictions.

The workers started to assemble at their respective factory gates at 3 pm in the evening, from where they marched in groups to Devi Lal Park. The Police cordons stationed at different points in the industrial area made attempts to stop the workers from marching to the Park but in view of hordes of workers, Police had to keep hands off.

Workers are protesting the malicious conviction and sentencing of 31 Maruti workers by a Sessions Court at Gurgaon, despite the fact that no cogent evidence could be brought on record to justify the prosecution of the workers and despite the fact that the Judge himself has acquitted 117 of the workers observing that the police has gone beyond limits to fabricate evidence to implicate workers in collusion with the management.

The incident relates to a management provoked violence on the floor of the car manufacturing plant of Maruti-Suzuki at Manesar in the year 2012. The management had used hired bouncers to beat up the workers after they had protested against abuse and beating of a worker Jiyalal. During the brawl, a fire started in which insignificant outer portion of the plant was gutted and the HR manager Avnish died due to asphyxiation. The management had used the incident to avenge the organization of a Union of workers against the stooge Union of the management.

148 workers were arrested, brutally tortured through electric shocks, leg stretching and water immersions etc. and had been kept inside the jail since then. Without an iota of evidence against the wokrers, 117 had to be acquitted but 31 are convicted by the Judge, 13 for life terms. All 12 office bearers of the Union are among the 13 who got life terms. The evidence against the 13 and even 31 is on no better footing than the 117 who have been acquitted.

The Judgement, that condemns 13 workers to life and 18 to shorter jail terms, is open travesty of justice and is laced with malice and class bias against the workers. Reflecting this bias, the prosecutor of the case has claimed that the investment environment would get boosted by the judgement in the backdrop of falling FDI.

The motive of the government in subjecting the workers to such harsh repression, is to reinforce its claim that India is better heaven for global investors than China. It intends to demonstrate to the world that the rulers of India are ready and able to go to any extent in crushing the working class and toilers to ensure peaceful churning out of profits.

The major Trade Union federations- CITU, AITUC, HMS, AICCTU- affiliated to Stalinists and social-democrats, despite their considerable presence in the region, have not taken any real steps to counter the assault upon the workers. On the contrary, they have opposed any independent movement of the working class extending the movement outside the narrow confines of the plant. Neither their MPs have raised any question in Parliament nor they issued any press statement condemning the conviction of the workers. Largest left party of Stalinists, CPI (M) is number four recipient of corporate donations in the country. Collusion between Stalinist left and the corporates and governments, comes so clear through the prism of Maruti struggle.

The huge gathering on March 23, flies in face of the false claims of Stalinists and trade union leaders that workers are not ready to struggle. The fact is that the fake leaders are fetters upon the movement who are preventing it from opening a frontal attack against the corporate and their state.

It was decided in the meeting that a protest demonstration of workers would be taken out at Jantar Mantar in New Delhi on March 31 and a nationwide protest would be held on April 4. A meeting is also called for March 28 to decide further course of action of the agitation.

Workers must long for an international solidarity among the working class against the savage onslaught of capitalist regime upon the workers. Sections of international working class from Africa to Americas must rise up in active support of Maruti workers, blocking all goods and products to and from India at their docks and ports.

Without losing the precious time, workers at Manesar must immediately call for and set up a Workers’ Council comprised of the representatives from each factory in the industrial region. This Council must take the agitation in its hands to open a broad front of struggle against the class assault by the capitalist state by all means possible.

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