MHA’s move prompted by violence that rocked Maruti Suzuki’s Manesar plant

Large scale violence by workers that rocked Maruti Suzuki’s Manesar plant in Gurgaon last week has led the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) to alert the Intelligence Bureau (IB) to probe whether there is any Maoist influence on trade unions in industrial belts in the National Capital Region (NCR).

Senior MHA officials fear that Maoists might be trying to influence trade unions. This was evident in the brutal targeting of top management and the nature of violence at Manesar.

“We have sought a detailed report from the Haryana Police on the nature of violence and asked them to probe the background of people involved in trade unions. However, we have reports that at least three trade unions active in the region are either fronts of the CPI (Maoist) or are Naxal sympathisers who want to destabilise the economic environment and create industrial unrest,” a senior MHA official told The Hindu.

Pointing out that workers never resort to such violence as they know that getting involved in criminal activities would ruin their future, the official said they had been getting reports that Maoists wanted industrial unrest in the region as it would give them readymade cadres for their so-called movement.

“Their aim is to go for plant shutdown. Take the case of Maruti Suzuki’s Manesar plant. It is now closed and would take several weeks to open. This would lead to unrest as police and Labour Department would target unions of other plants. Such acrimony serves the Maoists well,” the official said.

He said the violence at Manesar saw workers burning one top executive to death and brutally thrashing other senior executives some of whom are critically injured. In 2008 the CEO of the Indian subsidiary of Italian firm Graziano was killed by workers at the Greater Noida plant after their negotiations with the management failed.

Then there have been other recent incidents where workers have resorted to unprecedented violence during labour unrest in Gurgaon, Noida and Ghaziabad, be it the case of workers’ strike in Honda, Rico Auto or Nippon.

“And this feature is not confined to Delhi and its adjoining townships alone. Recently there has been a report from industry chambers hinting at infiltration of militant trade unions in Tamil Nadu, which is a major automobile hub,” the official said.

However, the Left parties have termed it a “bogus theory” floated to hide the nexus between the government and the management.

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