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CM Rupani Urges Migrants to Return to Gujarat as Yogi, Nitish Kumar Express Concern Over Attacks

Appealing to people to not indulge in violence, the chief minister said 431 people had been arrested and 56 FIRs registered in connection with the attack.

Updated:October 8, 2018, 11:48 PM IST
CM Rupani Urges Migrants to Return to Gujarat as Yogi, Nitish Kumar Express Concern Over Attacks
Migrant workers from UP and Bihar leave for their homes from Ahmedabad on Monday. (PTI)
Ahmedabad/Patna: Gujarat chief minister Vijay Rupani on Monday urged migrant workers to return to the state as widespread attacks on them sparked an exodus, prompting the chief ministers of Uttar Pradesh and Bihar to express concern.

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 have arrested Ravindra Sahu, a labourer hailing from Bihar and working in a local ceramic factory, for the crime.

However, the backlash against the incident has singed the entire migrant community, with Uttar Bharatiya Vikas Parishad president Maheshsingh Kushwah claiming that over 20,000 people belonging to UP, Madhya Pradesh and Bihar had already fled Gujarat.

Keeping in mind the gravity of the situation, Uttar Pradesh chief minister Yogi Adityanath and his Bihar counterpart Nitish Kumar spoke to Rupani and voiced their concerns regarding the incident.

While Adityanath expressed confidence with the state government’s handling of the issue, Kumar said the guilty in the rape case must be punished but the entire community could not be blamed for the incident. "If somebody has committed a crime, he must be punished severely. But on account of one incident, people must not generalize and hold a grouse against an entire state," he said.

Assuring the chief ministers, Rupani said 431 people had been arrested and 56 FIRs registered in connection with the attack. Rupani appealed to people to not indulge in violence and said the situation had been brought under control. "We are committed to maintaining law and order, and people can call police in case of trouble. We will provide them security." he told reporters in Rajkot.

The attacks also took on a political hue as a JD(U) leader wrote a two-page open letter to Congress president Rahul Gandhi, blaming his party for the violence. "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 Pradeepsinh 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".

Jadeja said it was the responsibility of the state government to provide security to those who came to the state for employment and appealed to those who have fled to come back to the state. He said additional forces have been deployed in industrial areas for the security of migrants.

While police have arrested several members of the Thakor Sena in connection with the attacks and also mentioned the outfit's name in some of the FIRs, its president and Congress MLA Alpesh Thakor alleged that youth from the community were being falsely implicated.
(Get detailed and live results of each and every seat of the state Assemblies in Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Telangana, Chhattisgarh and Mizoram to know which candidate/party is leading or trailing and to know who has won and who has lost and by what margin. Our one-of-its-kind Election Analytics Centre lets you put on the psephologist's hat. Know interesting facts and trivia about the elections. Elections = News18)
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