Gujarat today appealed to migrant workers, who left the state following outbreaks of violence across five districts, to come back. Migrant workers from Bihar and Uttar Pradesh have been targeted in the districts – chiefly Mehsana and Sabarkantha – a week after a 14-month-old girl was raped, allegedly by a migrant labourer.
“It is our responsibility to provide security to those who come to Gujarat for employment from other states… We are very serious about resuming the law and order in the state. We have filed 35 FIRs (First Information Reports in this case,” said state home minister Pradeepsinh Jadeja.
The minister said more than 450 people have been arrested for the attacks on the migrants and the state police chief is reviewing the situation. A report has also been submitted to the Central government, he added.
The child was raped in Sabarkantha district on September 28, after which the man accused was arrested. Over the last few days, however, violence broke out in six districts — Gandhinagar, Ahmedabad, Patan, Sabarkantha and Mehsana — in which many migrant labourers were targetted, the police said. A part of Ahmedabad city was also affected.
The Gujarat police have tightened security in the disturbed areas with regular patrolling and pushing in more personnel.
The appeal to the migrants came as Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar dialled his Gujarat counterpart Vijay Rupani to punish the people who have been targetting the migrant population.
“I would like to appeal that please don’t punish the rest of the people for the crime… Please punish those guilty but don’t spread the hatred against others,” Mr Kumar said he had told Mr Rupani during their interaction.