started this petition to
Narendra Damodardas Modi, Prime Minister of India.
Dear Mr. Prime Minister,
We received information from Indian trade unions NTUI and MSWU about an anti-worker political verdict for the Maruti Suzuki workers case.
The workers and trade union activists at the Maruti-Suzuki, Manesar factory, an Indian arm/plant of the Japanese Suzuki multinational corporation, who were arrested and charged in connection with the incidents that took place at this factory in 2012, in which a factory manager died, have just been tried in court.
117 of them were acquitted and 31 were convicted of various offenses, including 13 who were convicted of murder — which in India is punishable by death or lifeimprisonment. Finality of this quantum of punishment will be out on March 17, in the Gurgaon Sessions Court.
Of the 13 convicted of murder — convictions in which no evidence was produced to prove their guilt — 11 were leaders of the MSWU, the independent union that was formed in Maruti and that management sought to break through violence.
In the Verdict, 13 workers among the workers leadership have been charged under Sections 302 (murder), 307, 436, 427, 325, 323, 341, 452, 201, 120B. It has been clearly established in Court by the Defense that murder or attempt to murder do not hold. They face potential life term sentences, while the Prosecution demanding for blood, even asked for death sentence in their statements to the media. It is clear that the entire Union body of MSWU has been specifically targeted, despite no evidences, only because they were vocal for workers rights. They have been targeted because they have been the leadership of the struggle for Trade Union rights against the contract system, the horrible working conditions, the low wages, and regime of exploitation and repression by the company.
These 13 include workers Jiyalal and the entire Union body of the Maruti Suzuki Workers Union, who are Ram Meher, Sandeep Dhillon, Ram Bilas, Sarabjeet Singh, Pawan Kumar, Sohan Kumar, Ajmer Singh, Suresh Kumar, Amarjeet, Dhanraj Bambi, Pradeep Gujjar and Yogesh.
We consider the court's decision as a rough attempt to violate the workers` of Maruti Suzuki rights, and in general to violate right of all the working people in India to protect their own interests via independent trade unions.
We strongly plead:
PLEASE SAVE THE LIVES OF THE MARUTI 13, CONDUCT AN INDEPENDENT INVESTIGATION AND FREE ALL IMPRISONED WORKERS, WHO ARE NOT PROVED TO BE GUILTY OF THE CRIME!