Bihar CM expresses concern over attacks on non-Gujaratis

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A rape of a 14-month-old girl in Gujarat’s Sabarkantha district on September 28 triggered massive outrage, which led to violence upon migrant workers from Bihar and Uttar Pradesh. The workers are being targeted mainly in Mehsana and Sabarkantha districts, a week after the minor was raped, allegedly by a migrant labourer.

Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar said Monday he has spoken to his Gujarat counterpart Vijay Rupani and expressed concern over attacks in the western state on non-Gujarati people, including those from Bihar.

Condemning the alleged rape the girl, Kumar said the guilty must be punished but an entire community should not 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,” he said.

The attacks intensified following the circulation of hate messages on social media. Police have arrested 342 people from various parts of Gujarat for allegedly attacking non-Gujaratis.

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 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 Gujarat police have tightened security in the disturbed areas with regular patrolling and pushing in more personnel.

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