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"It looked like Jallianwala Bagh"

Wednesday 27 July 2005

Relatives trying to trace missing workers

"We have no record of missing persons who may have gone home"

GURGAON: Employees of Honda Motorcycle and Scooter India (Pvt) Limited (HMSI), who received severe injuries in Monday’s police lathicharge here, were still in a state of shock while relatives of some of the workers were running from pillar to post to find them.

Over 50 persons were undergoing treatment in the civil hospital here for cracked skulls and multiple fractures.

"It was like Jallianwala Bagh had happened in Gurgaon itself," said Subram, who worked as a machine operator in the HMSI plant at Manesar, near here. He said about 2,000 workers had gathered outside the Mini-Secretariat to hand over a memorandum to Deputy Commissioner Sudhir Rajpal against the "illegal lockout."

All hell broke loose after policemen lathicharged the workers, who were waiting to hold discussions with the administration officials. "They were aiming for our heads," said Vipul, a machine operator from Bhuj in Gujarat. "We tried to defend ourselves using sticks used to wave flags," he said.

The workers claimed that many of their colleagues were missing.

Two women, Veervati and Bala, approached almost all officials and politicians who came to the spot, saying they could not trace their relatives.

Veervati roughed up Mr. Rajpal and attacked some policemen with sticks, after which a fresh confrontation between the crowd and police ensued on Tuesday morning.

Mr. Vipul claimed that his colleague Kamal Kishore was admitted to the hospital on Monday night but could not be found on Tuesday morning. Another worker, Shivaji, who hails from Maharashtra, said at least 10 persons known to him were missing.

However, Inspector-General Deepa Mehta said, "we have no record of missing persons who may simply have gone home."

See online : The Hindu

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