Madras High Court on August 22 granted bail to 167 workers of a multinational company, arrested and lodged in prison for staging an agitation against their firm in Kancheepuram, saying they cannot be treated like hardened criminals and such matters cannot be solved by use of police force.
"They cannot be treated as hardened criminals and these matters cannot be solved by use of police force. They did not possess any lethal weapon. Police or public or officials are not their enemies. They have their grievance with their management," Justice P Devadass said while granting them bail.
The judge pulled up labour leaders, saying they must be responsible for this unsavoury incident.
"The workers are dumb, driven cattle. The leaders must be responsive and they must lead the workers on proper path to achieve the object in a democratic way."
The workers had gone on an agitation on August 15, 2014 in connection with certain issues relating to their employment.
While granting bail, the judge directed the workers to furnish their own bail bonds for a sum of Rs 5,000 each to the satisfaction of Superintendent, Central Prison, Vellore and to report before police at Kancheepuram as and when required for questioning.