Widespread violence against migrant workers from UP and Bihar in Gujarat

Reports of widespread violence against migrant workers from the states of UP and Bihar are coming from different parts of Gujarat from past couple of days. The entire violence is over the abduction and rape of a 14 year old girl, earlier this week, allegedly by a migrant worker from Bihar.

On Sunday, a mob attacked atleast 15-16 workers from UP and Bihar in Vadodara’s Waghodia District. Police said they have arrested 16 people and detained a minor in connection with the violence. Ten of the workers were seriously injured and shifted to SSG hospital in Vadodara for treatment, police said.

As per the police sources, a mob of 17 armed men attacked on the workers who were mostly employed in Campus Fastener and Param Engineers in Waghodia. The mob attacked on the workers with sticks and stones. All those attacked were living in Vadodara without their families, police said.

“We arrested all those involved. A provocative message had been doing rounds on a social media messaging app to instigate the mob against migrant workers. These messages were based on the recent rape case in Sabarkantha and exploited the sentiment that workers from outside were taking away job opportunities. There have also been calls for a Waghodia bandh on Monday. We have strengthened security and patrolling to avoid any untoward incident,” said DySP H D Mewada.

Keeping a close eye on the developments, Bihar Chief Minister, Nitish Kumar spoke with his Gujarat counterpart, Vijay Rupani. “Our government is aware and alert. I spoke to the Gujarat chief minister Sunday. Our chief secretary and director general of police are also in touch with their counterparts in Gujarat,” Nitish was quoted as saying by PTI.

Condemning the rape of the 14-year old allegedly by a migrant from Bihar, Nitish said the guilty must be punished but an entire community cannot be “tarred with the same brush”.

“If somebody has committed a crime, he must be punished severely. But on account of one incident, people should not generalise and hold a grouse against an entire state,” the chief minister said.

Meanwhile In Halol, police said they have detained 17 people suspected of planning an attack on migrant workers. Patrolling has been strengthened in Halol and Kalol, both industrial areas, they said.

(With inputs from the Indian Express)