Ahmedabad: Congress MLA Alpesh Thakor Sunday took to reassure people following reports of several migrant workers leaving Gujarat due to mob violence and protests in connection to the alleged rape case of 14-year-old child last week.
“This is unfortunate, we have never advocated violence and only talked peace. All Indians are safe in Gujarat,” said the legislator from Radhanpur, who also heads the Kshatriya Thakor Sena that is allegedly behind the mob attacks.
Earlier, Thakor appealed to his community and members of his outfit to maintain peace, saying non-Gujaratis are also our "brothers".
He claimed that never asked the Kshatriya Thakor Sena to engage in violence or attack non-Gujaratis.
Last week, on September 28, a 14-month-old toddler was allegedly raped in a village near Himmatnagar town of Sabarkantha district, around 100 km from Ahmedabad. The victim belonged to the Thakor community.
Ravindra Sahu, a labourer hailing from Bihar and working in a local ceramic factory, was later arrested for the rape by police.
Following the arrest, the Kshatriya Thakor Sena said migrant workers from other states should not be given jobs in Gujarat. A 200-strong mob, allegedly led by Thakor Sena members, stormed a factory near Vadnagar town of Mehsana district on October 2 and thrashed employees.
Similar incidents took place in Mehsana, Gandhinagar, Sabarkantha, Patan and Ahmedabad districts in the last one week, said Director General of Police Shivanand Jha.
Thakor had reportedly raked up the issue of non-Gujaratis while demanding "justice" for the rape survivor a week back. He had then said locals should be given preference in jobs in industries in Gujarat.
"Non-Gujaratis are not on our target. I have called a meeting of all the office-bearers of the Thakor Sena to discuss this issue.
"Non-Gujaratis are our brothers and protecting them is also our responsibility. I will ask the Thakor Sena to stop such attacks," Thakor told reporters.
With agency inputs