Astonished to see a news item about the Indian CEO of an Italian company being beaten to death in Noida.

L.K Chaudhury, CEO and MD of Cerlikon-Graziano Transmissions India Pvt. Ltd. in Udyog Vihar of Greater Noida was killed when a meeting of management and workers turned violent, and the workers beat him to death with a hammer. These former employees were dismissed a couple of months ago and were negotiating terms for their reinstatement. Apparently, the cause for the flare-up was an undertaking to be given by these ex-employees that they would not resort to any untoward means to stop / stall work once they joined back.

Update: Around 136 people have been arrested and charged with rioting and murder. However, what really got me was the reaction of Union Labour Minister, Oscar Fernandes, as reported by the ET.

His contention that “simmering discontent” among workers was the main reason for this incident and should serve as a wake up call to managements of companies. He also said, “The workers should not be pushed so hard that they resort to whatever that had happened in Noida”.

I found this line of thinking pretty hard to accept. While I’m not completely aware of exactly what transpired between the Graziano management and workers, simply beating the CEO to death cannot be termed an acceptable action no matter what the provocation.

In fact, to use Fernandes’ logic, if the management of a company were to be similarly provoked or “pushed hard” by some employees, would they also then be justified in beating those employees to death ?

Further Update: Oscar Fernandes has apologised for his statement justifying the action of the workers, after shocked members from industry expressed outrage at his comments. The Confederation of Indian Industry also said there was “nothing in the world that can justify lynching of any person and no dispute can be settled by murdering an adversary.”