After a tense beginning to the two-day hunger strike led by Maruti Suzuki workers who had been sacked from the Manesar plant after the July violence, the situation seems to have calmed down with 300-odd protestors camped outside the DC’s office – where they spent the night – till they call off their fast at 4 pm today.
However, two of the leaders who are part of the provisional committee that has been nominated by the jailed leadership of the Maruti Suzuki Worker’s Union – Ram Niwas and Om Prakash – continue to be under police detention, according the union members.
Iman Khan, member of the provisional committee, told Firstpost that 149 workers who are in jail and at least 100 workers at the Manesar plant were also on hunger strike. “We will continue our dharna outside the Deputy Commissioner’s office through the night. This morning police used strong arm tactics against us, they detained 35 protestors who were released later in the afternoon. However, two of comrades continue to be in police custody.”
Khan said that they would call off their fast at 4 pm today and then hold a rally in protest of the local MLA Sukhbir Khataria. Supporting the protest are All India Trade Union Congress (AITUC) and Centre for Indian Trade Unions (CITU) and independent unions of companies in the Manesar-Gurgaon industrial belt.
Khan said no one from the district administration had come forward to talk to them. “No talks have taken place on our demands,” he said.
The three demands have been laid down by the protesting workers: an impartial inquiry into the violence at the plant on 18 July, release of the 149 workers who have been jailed, and re-instatement of the 546 permanent workers who have been sacked.