Hundreds of protesting workers at a Honda Motor Co. subsidiary plant in northern India were injured in a clash with police, officials and witnesses said.
About 1,000 employees of Honda Motorcycle and Scooter India a fully owned subsidiary of the Japanese auto giant were protesting the dismissal of four workers at the company's factory in Gurgaon, an industrial center near New Delhi.
Police had to forcefully disperse the protesters after they turned violent, said Bhupinder Singh Hudda, the elected head of Haryana state, where Gurgaon is located.
The protesters hurled stones at police and set fire to a police jeep, while the officers used batons to subdue the crowd, Hudda said. "There was violence from both sides," he told reporters. "Hundreds, including many policemen, were injured."
The Haryana government said it would order an investigation into the incident.
Factory worker Sanjay Patel said the rally turned violent because at least 8 to 10 workers were beaten after they defied a police order banning the demonstration. The beatings had angered the protesters, he said.
Dozens of workers received head injuries and some were in serious condition, said Gurudas Dasgupta, a Communist Party lawmaker who took part in the protest. Dasgupta said the issue was set to be raised Tuesday in Parliament.
A Honda official said many of the company's employees went on strike after four workers were fired and fifteen others were temporarily suspended on charges of insubordination a month ago.
"What happened today is very unfortunate," said Vivek Vishwanath, head of human resources and industrial relations at Honda Motorcycle and Scooter India, AP reports.