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Violence Against Migrants: Gujarat Human Rights Commission Sends Notice To DGP, Chief Secretary

They have been asked to clarify what steps are being taken to maintain peace in the state.

Ahmedabad: Gujarat State Human Rights Commission (GSHRC) issued notices Wednesday to the state chief secretary and the director general of police seeking reports on the attacks and exodus of Hindi-speaking migrant workers.

The reports have to be submitted within 20 days, GSHRC chairperson Justice (retired) Abhilasha Kumari told reporters in Gandhinagar.

The notices have been issued to Chief Secretary J N Singh and DGP Shivanand Jha, seeking reports from them on steps taken to ensure the safety of migrant labourers under attack in the state, she said.

“They have been asked to clarify what steps are being taken to maintain peace (following attacks on migrants) in the state and for the safety of people who are being attacked,” she added.

Since the alleged rape of a 14-month-old girl in Sabarkantha district, around 100 km from here, on September 28, and the arrest of a labourer hailing from Bihar for the crime, six districts, most of them in north Gujarat, have seen sporadic incidents of violence against Hindi-speaking people.

Ravindra Sahu, a labourer hailing from Bihar and working in a local ceramic factory, was arrested the same day for the toddler’s rape.

The migrants from Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and Madhya Pradesh fled in thousands after attacks.

Minister of State for Home Pradipsinh Jadeja said Tuesday that 533 people were so far arrested in this connection across the affected districts after 61 cases were filed.

Congress president Rahul Gandhi had earlier brought up the exodus of the Hindi-speaking migrants, saying youths from Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh are being attacked and forced to leave.

However, Chief Minister Vijay Rupani Tuesday asked whether Gandhi will take action against his party’s “own members who incited violence against the migrants in Gujarat”.

The BJP has been blaming Congress MLA Alpesh Thakor and his outfit Gujarat Kshatriya-Thakor Sena for the outbreak of violence.

After the alleged rape of the 14-month-old girl, who belonged to his community, Thakor had blamed in public a “non-Gujarati” for the crime.

The exodus of Hindi-speaking migrants from Gujarat after attacks on them in several parts of the state showed no signs of abating on Tuesday.

Police had intensified patrolling in areas near industrial estates and places where migrant workers stay in a bid to instill confidence among people.

Shyam Singh Thakur, president of the Uttar Bhartiya Vikas Parishad, an outfit of north Indians in Gujarat, said Tuesday that more than 60,000 Hindi-speaking migrant labourers have fled the state so far.

He claimed that people who had decided earlier to leave the state continue to board buses and trains.

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