Dev wanted to quit but I convinced him to stay, says survivor

With critical injuries on his neck and back, vice president-HR of Maruti Suzuki Industries Limited, C S Raju, is writhing in pain but what torments him more is the sense of guilt. Had he not made general manager, Awanish Kumar Dev, stay back in the company, he would have been alive today.

“Even if I am completely cured, I would live with this guilt for the rest of my live, that Dev wanted to quit the company but it was me who made him stay back,” 55-year old Raju told Deccan Herald.

Dev, who was killed in a gruesome violence perpetrated by company’s workers on Wednesday, had put in his papers about four months back as he was finding it difficult to cope with the simmering tension at the Maruti’s plant in Manesar.

“I asked him, why are you doing this (resigning)? Do you (Dev) have any other job in hand? As he said, no, I suggested him that he should think of quitting his job only if he has any other option. After listening to me, Dev changed his mind and withdrew his resignation. Now, I feel guilty,” Raju said.

On the day of incident, Raju said, he was holding a meeting with union leaders in the conference room at the plant while Dev was in the other room with few colleagues. “There were three union leaders, I was holding the meeting. They were
talking to me very aggressively and even abusing me, using foul language.

Subsequently, I came out of the room hearing some commotion and saw our personnel being mercilessly beaten up by a group of some 30-40 unruly workers,” he said.

The workers were holding blunt objects like iron- rod in their hands and beating
every personnel present in the hall.  

“As some of them saw me, they pounced on me and started beating me up. They tried to hit on my head with a rod but I had by then, grabbed a chair and covered my head with it to avoid injuries. But still, one of them hit me on my neck from behind. Somehow, I managed to come out of the room and ran downstairs. I still wonder, why they resorted to such an extreme. It was because of the efforts taken by me and Dev, that their union was registered,” he said. 

Interestingly, according to another injured official of the company, when some 3,000 workers ran amok and unleashed violence inside the plant, a team of just about 50 policemen stood at the ground floor of the plant. “They could not do much to save employees from being beaten up because they were far outnumbered by the unruly workers,” he said.

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