Having spent almost four years in jail before he was granted bail in July 2016, Mr. Nain managed to get a job with an automobile company for ₹10,000 per month through a reference a couple of months ago. His former colleagues at Maruti earn between ₹50,000 and ₹60,000 per month.
Mr. Nain, a native of Narwana in Jind district, was among the 55 Maruti workers named in the FIR filed in connection with the violence at the company’s Manesar plant on July 18, 2012.
“I had returned home to Rajiv Nagar in Gurugram after my shift ended around 5.30 p.m. on the day of the incident. I learnt about the violence at the factory through a news channel. Two days later, I learnt through a newspaper report that I was among the 55 accused named in the FIR,” recalled Mr. Nain, who presently lives at Garhi Harsaru village in Gurugram.
Surrendered in July
He decided to surrender on July 27, 2012, due to mounting police pressure. “The police tortured me and made me sign four blank papers. Though I had surrendered, police records before the court claimed I was arrested from Punjab. The police also claimed to have recovered four door beams from my possession,” he said.
After his parents passed away a few years ago, his wife Suman went to stay with her parents. “It was tough inside the jail. The conditions were unhygienic and many of us contracted tuberculosis, but the court refused to grant bail on medical grounds. Many of us were the only breadwinners and our families suffered emotionally and financially. Some of our colleagues were so poor that their families couldn’t even afford to visit them in jail,” he added.
Like most of his former colleagues, Mr. Nain also looked for jobs with automobile companies after he was released from jail. However, all he got was rejection.
‘No faith in system’
“If I claim to be a fresher, no company will hire me. If I tell them that I worked with Maruti, they will reject me for being in jail. I finally managed to get a job by concealing my past,” said Mr. Nain.
He said he has lost faith in the judicial system. “The police arrested 117 innocent people without investigation and made them sign blank papers. Even those who had not gone to work that day were arrested. We lost our jobs, reputation and our families continue to suffer for something we did not do. It seems the police and the courts are only for the rich and the influential.”