Seven migrants from Bihar were attacked allegedly for wearing “lungi” and “sitting indecently”, following which three persons were arrested on Wednesday, the police said.
The attack took place on Monday night in Sama locality in the city, the police said.
The police claimed that the attack on Monday night was an isolated incident and had “nothing to do with the origin of the victims”.
Vadodara Police Commissioner Anupam Singh Gehlot said, “The men were attacked after they did not pay heed to the local residents, who regularly asked them not to sit there indecently after wearing lungi (a traditional garment worn around the waist).”
He said the incident cannot be termed a “hate crime” against Hindi-speaking migrants.
“The victims, working at a construction site in the locality, used to wear lungi and sit in the area. Women and men, staying at Vankarvas under Sama police station area, had repeatedly warned these men against wearing lungi and sitting indecently,” Mr Singh said.
“The victims were attacked after an altercation broke out between the two groups on Monday night,” he said.
Sama police station Inspector PD Parmar said those who were attacked belonged to Bihar. While six of them are plumbers, another one is an engineer.
According to the police, the attackers also torched a motorcycle belonging to the engineer, he said.
The accused were identified as Dhiru Parmar, Hardik Parmar, and Nikunj Vaghela, the police said.
The three arrested accused were booked under Indian Penal Code sections 323 (voluntarily causing hurt), 504 (intentional insult to provoke breach of peace), 506 (criminal intimidation), 435 (mischief by fire), and 114 (abettor present when offence is committed).
Parmar said that despite the attack, the victims and others from Bihar continue to work at the site .
Migrants living in several districts in the northern parts of Gujarat had to face violence after a labourer from Bihar was arrested on the charge of raping a 14-month-old girl in Sabarkantha district on September 28. The attacks on migrants, mostly from Bihar and Uttar Pradesh, led to the exodus of thousands from Gujarat.