Corporate India is in shock after a mob of recently fired workers bludgeoned to death the chief executive who had dismissed them from a factory in a suburb of Delhi.
Lalit Kishore Choudhary, 47, the head of the Indian operations of Graziano Transmissioni, an Italy-based manufacturer of car parts, died of severe head wounds Monday afternoon after being attacked by scores of laid-off employees, police said.
The incident, in Greater Noida, just outside the Indian capital, followed a long-running dispute between the factory's management and workers who had demanded better pay and permanent contracts.
It is understood that Choudhary, who was married and had one son, had called a meeting with more than 100 former employees — who had been dismissed following an earlier outbreak of violence at the plant — to discuss a possible reinstatement deal.
"Only a few people were called inside," a police spokesman said. About 150 people were waiting outside when they heard someone from inside shout for help. They rushed in and the two sides clashed. The company staff were heavily outnumbered."
Other executives said they were lucky to escape with their lives.
"I just locked my room's door from inside and prayed they would not break in. See, my hands are trembling even three hours later," an Italian consultant, Forettii Gatii, told a local newspaper.
More than 60 people were arrested and more than 20 were in the hospital Monday.