"The agitating employees got violent and hit the managing director with an iron rod," the spokesman told the Indian Express.

Rare home visits

Choudhary had not come home for the last few days, except for one or two brief visits to check on his family, the Indian Express said.

He had put additional security for the family at his house in the Delhi suburb of Noida, where many multinational companies are based.

A security guard at the family's home said Choudhary was very worried the dismissed workers might harm his family.

"He barely came home from office in the last three or four days. His visits were brief. He had come very late last night and left in a hurry in the morning by 8.30 am," the guard said.

He wanted to make sure everything was all right at home while he worked out a package that would be acceptable to the agitating workers of his company.

Suspects detained

More than 60 people were arrested over charges ranging from rioting to murder, Babu Ram, the local police superintendent, said.

Mahesh Sharma, a doctor at Kailash hospital in New Delhi, told the Indian Express: "A total of 40 injured from both sides have been admitted.

"Half a dozen are in the intensive care unit."

Babu Ram said: "The employees wanted a raise and permanent jobs with the firm.

"The standoff took a serious turn two months ago, when the agitating employees ransacked the company's offices, and the management retaliated by dismissing around 300 people for misbehaviour and rioting."