Edited by Shamik Ghosh | Updated: July 23, 2012 12:24 IST
Central intelligence agencies and the Haryana police have not found any evidence so far to link the violence at Maruti factory at Manesar to any Maoist organisation. There have been apprehensions about Maoists making inroads into urban areas and especially in trade unions.
Six more workers were arrested on Sunday for their alleged involvement in arson and rioting in Maruti Suzuki's Manesar plant on July 18, taking the number of those apprehended to 97. They will be produced in a court today. 70 village heads from around Manesar will meet the management of the Maruti Suzuki today to express solidarity.
Maruti Suzuki has declared a lockout at its Maruti plant in Manesar in Haryana, where a senior manager was killed last week in a deadly riot for which more than 90 workers have been arrested. Maruti has two plants in Haryana - one in Manesar and one in Gurgaon. The plant where the riots took place produces 1,700 units of Swift, Dzire, A-Star among other models every day.
The lockout is costing the company nearly 80 crores a day. The Manesar factoy's total annual capacity of 550,000 cars produces a third of Maruti's output.
The carmaker's chairman, RC Bhargava, said on Saturday that it is impossible to import extra vehicles or shift lost production to another plant. "How long it will take? 10 days? 15 days? I don't know," he said on Saturday in his first public remarks following the violence. "We'll put all our resources to study and help the authorities but...I cannot say when we will be able to restart the plant."
Maruti officials have denied reports that the company is likely to close the Manesar plant, where the company builds its best-selling Swift hatchback - the runaway leader in its segment. Chairman Bhargava has said the company will not be able to offset some of the lost production with imports or by increasing productivity at its other factory.
The Maruti shares fell 5 per cent after markets opened today. More than Rs 3,192 crore was wiped off Maruti's market value on Thursday when its shares slid to their biggest one-day drop in two years. Shares of the parent Suzuki Motor Corp fell a total of 5.7 per cent in trading on Thursday and Friday to their lowest level in three-and-a-half years.
Suzuki executives say they are keen to establish Gujarat as their exports hub by 2015. In June 2012, the Gujarat government had allocated around 700 acres for Maruti's proposed plant near Mehsana. Maruti had said it would invest Rs. 4,000 crore to set up the new manufacturing facility in Gujarat by 2015.
24 senior managers are still in hospital with injuries, mainly fractures of their arms and legs, of the 96 initially admitted after the riot. No workers were injured during the violence, Maruti executives said.
The riot began after an altercation between workers and managers over a disciplinary incident involving a single worker. The factory's workers' union has accused Maruti officials of starting the violence and using hired thugs to beat workers. Senior officials were allegedly attacked by the workers with iron rods, wooden sticks and unfinished car parts. Police are investigating the factory's entire 3,000-strong workforce and are seeking to press murder charges.
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