At least six garment manufacturing units were vandalised and over 100 cars damaged by a group of around 300 angry factory workers in Udyog Vihar Phase-2, Gurgaon, on Thursday.
According to sources, the incident took place after workers of Gaurav International and its sister-company Richa Global — both garment manufacturing companies — heard a rumour that one of their co-workers had allegedly died after being assaulted by a company official for reporting late.
However, in the evening, after investigating the claims made by workers, police found that Shammi Chand, the 32-year-old worker who was rumoured to be dead, was only hurt and was back home after receiving treatment in a private hospital.
The Gurgaon Police has lodged a complaint against the workers for rioting, arson and is investigating the matter.
ACP(Crime) Rajesh Kumar said, “Chand was taken to Safdarjung hospital and was discharged on Wednesday. He then filed a complaint at the Udyog Vihar police station. The SHO was waiting for the medical report to register the case. But on Thursday afternoon, during lunch hour, his wife spread the news that Chand has died at the hospital.”
According to sources, Chand worked in the quality checking department of Gaurav International. He was not allowed to punch in when he reported for work on Tuesday as he was 10 minutes late. Guards at the reception desk first stopped him and then allegedly slapped him for reporting late. This led to an argument, a worker claimed. Later, when Chand resisted, a company official was called in and he allegedly assaulted Chand further. The worker collapsed and he was rushed to hospital, police said.
“Out of nowhere, the news of the worker’s death spread and other workers took to the streets and damaged vehicles parked outside,” a spokesperson of Gaurav International said.
According to initial reports, 110 vehicles were vandalised and 17 cars and motorbikes were set ablaze.
Two fire tenders and district police force were rushed to the spot to control the situation. Workers alleged that the fire department reached the spot 40 minutes after being alerted. They claimed that had police acted on Chand’s complaint, Thursday’s incident would not have happened. “We are investigating the incident and action will be taken against whoever is found guilty, be it company officials or workers,” a police officer said.
Police said one of the factory managers was injured in the violence and rushed to Civil hospital where he is undergoing treatment.
Gurgaon Police Commissioner Navdeep Singh Virk said, “The miscreants who turned violent were not factory workers, but outsiders. There is no report of any death or injury and no one has come to us with any complaint. There has been major damage to company property and we are conducting an investigation as to what triggered the incident.”
The violence threw the traffic on NH-8 out of gear after police blocked the entry and exit points to Udyog Vihar. As a result, traffic on the Delhi-Gurgaon expressway, MG Road and at IFFCO Chowk and Signature Tower areas was blocked for almost two hours.