Ahmedabad/Patna: Additional forces were deployed in industrial areas in Gujarat for the security of Hindi-speaking migrants after attacks on them sparked their exodus that prompted the state government on Monday to make an appeal for their return amid a political slugfest.
Assuring security to the migrants, the Gujarat government said 431 people were arrested and 56 FIRs registered in connection with the attacks, as Chief Minister Vijay Rupani appealed to people not to engage in violence. Claiming that no untoward incident had taken place during the last 48 hours, Rupani said the situation has been brought under control by police.
“We are committed to maintaining law and order, and people can call police in case of trouble. We will provide them security.” he said in Rajkot.
Since the alleged rape of a 14-month-old girl in Sabarkantha district on September 28, six districts, most of them in north Gujarat, have witnessed sporadic incidents of violence against Hindi-speaking people, police said.
Police has arrested Ravindra Sahu, a labourer hailing from Bihar and working in a local ceramic factory, for the crime. Uttar Bharatiya Vikas Parishad president Maheshsingh Kushwah claimed that over 20,000 people belonging to Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh and Bihar had fled Gujarat due to the prevailing situation.
“Over 20,000 migrants from these states have fled due to fear as Hindi-speaking people are being attacked.”
“All non-Gujaratis should not be seen as culprits for the misdeeds of one person,” Uttar Bharatiya Vikas Parishad president Maheshsingh Kushwah said.
A leader of the JD(U), which is headed by Nitish Kumar, dashed off a two-page open letter to Congress president Rahul Gandhi, blaming his party for the violence against Biharis. “You appointed your Gujarat MLA Alpesh Thakor as one of the national secretaries in-charge of Bihar and his outfit Gujarat Kshatriya Thakor Sena is driving out migrant Biharis,” Neeraj Kumar, JD(U) MLC and spokesman, alleged.
Without naming opposition Congress, Gujarat home minister Pradeep-sinh Jadeja said efforts were underway to find out whether “it (attacks) is a conspiracy by those who are out of power in Gujarat since the last 22 years”.
Rahul Gandhi said targeting of migrant workers in Gujarat is “completely wrong” and he is totally against it. He tweeted, “Making migrant labour their target is completely wrong. I stand totally against it.”...