Still no clue as to what caused the Manesar murder
Forty days after the murder on Maruti’s Manesar premises, its management is not any the wiser about what caused the problem and therefore what needs to be done to prevent a recurrence. That, in a nutshell, is what Maruti Suzuki’s top management said at a press conference on Sunday. Was it the high proportion of contract employees who were badly paid, journalists asked Maruti’s top brass that included even Suzuki chief Osamu Suzuki? No, came the emphatic answer, the proportion was similar to what it was globally and, in any case, Maruti’s workers knew the company was shifting to a system of replacing contract workers with permanent ones. Was it the lack of housing, which Maruti Suzuki chairman RC Bhargava said was a source of concern given the housing scarcity in Manesar? Not really, said the management, since it had got land for employees’ group housing close to the plant and had even got a higher FSI sanctioned for this—once again, the management said, the workers knew about this long before the Manesar incident.
If every conceivable issue that concerned workers had been addressed, why did the workers decide to, en masse, attack the entire management, hurting over 100 persons and killing one? No one really knew and that’s why Maruti Suzuki managing director S Nakanishi said he had no clue as to how long the Manesar factory would need to have a heavy police contingent. While both Suzuki and Nakanishi, along with Bhargava, have met Haryana chief minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda to impress upon him the need to complete the inquiry quickly, it is not clear what the company wants to hear from Hooda—nor is it clear how quickly the Haryana government will be able to conduct the inquiry into whether the attack was part of a well-planned conspiracy and, if so, by whom. In which case, India’s auto leader is likely to remain in a state of siege for some months to come.