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07-19-2012, 11:21 PM #1
Maruti shares sink after deadly riot shuts Manesar factory
MANESAR, Haryana (Reuters) - A deadly riot at the Manesar factory of carmaker Maruti Suzuki shut the plant on Thursday and inflicted the biggest loss on its share price in almost two years.
Hundreds of police have secured the 550,000-vehicle per year factory and have arrested 90 people after a mob tore through the plant on Wednesday, smashing property and burning parts of the facility beyond repair.
On Thursday, police combed through CCTV footage and interviewed witnesses as they searched for people they want to detain in connection with the violence in which a manager was killed, and scores of employees injured.
"We saw fire coming out of a nearby office and gradually it spread," said a senior company official, who declined to be named. "(Workers) destroyed company-owned and our own cars. Police had to escort us out," he said from a hospital where he was treated for head and rib injuries and a broken hand.
Labour unrest at the factory, where the union has accused India's biggest car manufacturer of anti-worker and anti-union activities, cost the company more than $500 million in lost production in 2011.
Wednesday's trouble flared after a disciplinary incident against one employee. Company officials say workers began to attack senior management during discussions, while the workers' union said its representatives were attacked first.
Human resources manager Awanish Kumar Dev was burned to death during the riot, and the Japanese manager of the factory was also attacked, the company said.
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