Left ultras may have instigated violence: Maruti chief

The violence and killing of a senior Maruti Suzuki executive at the carmaker's Manesar plant last month could have been triggered by extreme left wing groups, Maruti Suzuki chairman R C Bhargava said on Wednesday.

Participating in a panel discussion organieed by a TV channel, Bhargava termed the violence by a section of workers as "a class attack".

"It was conceived by a small group of people. These could be extreme left wing elements who want society to change through virtual creation of chaos," Bhargava said, adding that the violence was pre-planned.

"It was these left-wing extreme elements who incited the violence at Maruti. It was a conspiracy which was kept within a small group of people," he said.

The workers went on a rampage, smashed the limbs of human resources manager Awanish Kumar Dev and set the building on fire. Dev was charred to death as he could not escape. Nearly 100 workers and senior Maruti officials were injured in the attack.

"A certain demand by one worker does not lead to the arms and legs of a manager being broken," Bhargava said. "The attack was not directed at any one individual. It was like a class attack. It was like we are workers; we will attack anybody who is not a worker."

The Maruti chairman also said that the company may have hired the wrong people. Responding to question from Congress MP Manish Tiwari about faults in the hiring processes, Bhargava said, "We cannot rule out that the wrong kind of people got hired."

Bhargava also said that production at the plant will not resume until the safety of managers, supervisors, and even workers is ensured.