More than 2000 demonstrators took to the streets in New Delhi on Friday to demand the release of 147 Maruti Suzuki workers arrested in July 2012.
The huge demonstration on 31st January at Jantar-Mantar in the Indian capital marked the end of a two-week padyatra (journey by foot), which began on 15 January 2014 in the neighbouring state of Haryana.
Workers, their families, students and social activisits gathered under the banner of Maruti Suzuki Workers Union to demand the immediate release of the 147 workers, as well as the reinstatement of 2300 suspended workers.
They also called for a judicial inquiry into death of Avinish Kumar, HR Director at Maruti Suzuki’s plant in Manesar on 18 July 2012.
After the demonstration, a memorandum of the demands was handed over to the President of India.
Tapan Kumar Sen, Member of Parliament and eminent Trade Union Leader, congratulated the Maruti Suzuki Workers for their continuous struggle against the nexus of national and international capitalism. Well known social activists Arundhati Roy and Yogendra Yadav also criticised the anti-labour policies of the Federal and Central Government of India.
Brother S.M. F. Pasha, from IndustriALL’s South Asia Office, expressed a message of solidarity for Maruti Suzuki Workers and their families.
The protest was supported by many other Indian trade unions including AITUC, HMS, CITU, NTUI and AIUTUC, as well as Sarva Karamchari Sangh-Jal Board workers, Samtamulak Mahila Sangathan and Janrang-Delhi amongst others.
The demonstration ended with a pledge to support the workers until their demands are met by authorities.