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Jul 23, 2012 at 08:18am IST

Maruti unrest: Worried villagers to hold mahapanchayat

Manesar: There's no indication yet on moving the Maruti plant from Manesar, but there's worry among heads of nearly 40 villages who fear that job losses could become a reality. Ten villages near the plant will be holding a Mahapanchayat on Monday.

With big names like Honda, Hero Group and Maruti, the auto hub of Gurgaon-Manesar-Bawal has been Haryana's pride. But repeated incidents of labour unrest have marred the reputation of IMT Manesar, located barely 40 km from the national capital. The latest and the most violent attack by Maruti workers on Wednesday was the final nail in the coffin.

IMT Manesar employs nearly three-and-a-half lakh workers in the organized sector, most of them come from nearby villages like Manesar, Kho and Baas Kushla. But with fears that companies will shift base to more industry-friendly states, the villagers feel they have too much to lose.

In Baas Kushla village, the markets weren't buzzing with activity as usual. The reason, locals say, is that their primary customers, workers from the factories, have now fled fearing police arrests after the Maruti incident.

Villagers of Baas Kushla and nearly 40 other villages surrounding the area depend completely on the factories in IMT Manesar for their livelihoods. And a major chunk of their business comes from the Maruti plant.

Many have spent all their money in building rooms to let out for rent, but with many fleeing the villages, the concerns for their livelihood have grown.

The level of villagers' desperation is obvious with the unusual decision to hold a Mahapanchayat of more than 40 villages on Monday to try and convince the auto giants to stay put in Manesar.

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