The chief of police in Gujarat was of the view that migrants were leading an exodus to their native states for an upcoming festival. It categorically isn’t so considering the number of arrests and violence in six districts
Ahmedabad: Over the last four to five days, hundreds of migrant workers from Bihar and Uttar Pradesh have been forced to flee Gujarat. Violence has hit six districts as protests over the rape of a 14-month-old girl by a man hailing from Bihar refuse to die down.
Hate messages were circulated on social media leading to attacks on migrants. Police have arrested 342 people in connection with these attacks but violence has reached unimaginable proportions in north Gujarat. Unverified videos on Facebook suggest that migrants were assaulted, shops were rampaged, homes burned and violence even struck inside a train compartment, which migrants had boarded to leave Gujarat.
The chief of police in Gujarat was of the view that migrants were leading an exodus to their native states for an upcoming festival. It categorically isn’t so considering the number of arrests and violence in six districts. “The police chief maintained that they may be leaving for their native states in view of the upcoming festive season. ‘If people are leaving for home for a festival, it should not be seen otherwise. I have told my officers to visit residential areas, and if required, visit bus stands and railway stations and if people are found leaving due to fear, (then to) persuade them to come back,’ he said,” reported Indian Express.
“Six districts have mainly been affected (by the violence), with Mehsana and Sabarkantha being the worst hit. In these districts, 42 cases have been lodged and so far we have arrested 342 accused. More arrests will be made as names of the accused come up during the investigation,” Director General of Police Shivanand Jha told reporters. He said 17 companies of State Reserve Police (SRP) have been deployed in the affected areas according to the report.
"In reaction to the Himmatnagar's Gambhoi rape incident, some people are targeting those who have come to Gujarat from other states. This is totally unacceptable. A part of Ahmedabad city was also affected. In these districts and Ahmedabad 42 cases have been registered,” he told ANI.
“Congress MLA Alpesh Thakor announced that he will go on a ‘sadbhavna’ (goodwill) fast from October 11 if the government does not withdraw “false cases” registered against his supporters in the wake of the attacks. Thakor had last week demanded justice for the rape survivor and called for giving preference to local people in jobs in industries in Gujarat,” the report said. He also said that all Indians are safe in Gujarat and that he never advocated for any violence.
Congress leader Sanjay Nirupam hit out at BJP and PM Modi in light of the recent incidents. “If people from UP, Bihar and MP are being beaten up and forced to leave the prime minister's native state, the PM should remember that he has to go to Varanasi too. People of Varanasi accepted him and made him the PM,” he said.
On September 28, a 14-month-old girl from Saberkantha was raped by a man hailing from Bihar which triggered the violence against Hindi speaking migrants. She was discharged from an Ahmedabad hospital on Saturday and her condition is said to be stable. The alleged rapist was arrested the same day of the incident.