AHMEDABAD: Several migrant workers from Uttar Pradesh and Bihar fleed from Gujarat after massive protests and mob attacks against them in connection to the alleged rape of 14-month-old child last week.
The workers were targeted in few parts of the state after hate messages against non-Gujaratis, particularly those from Bihar and UP, were circulated on social media, said police.
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.
According to a migrant worker, "We were attacked by Thakor Sena members last night at Kalol town of Gandhinagar. This is an injustice to us. That is why we are going back to our native places as we feel unsafe here."
At least 170 persons have been arrested so far in connection to the attacks.
Meanwhile, Gujarat Deputy Chief Minister Nitin Patel Saturday said that he has written to Chief Justice R Subhash Reddy of the Gujarat High Court seeking speedy trial in the rape case of a 14-month old girl.
"I have written to the chief justice with request to set up a special fast-track court so that trial in rape cases at Himmatnagar (in Sabarkantha district) and Surat are held there and completed in a month or so," he said, adding that "harshest punishment" has been sought for the accused, including capital punishment.