The rape of a 14 month old girl in Sabarkantha district of Gujarat by a laborer from Bihar has sparked off violence against the migrant workers of Uttar Pradesh and Bihar. The ruling BJP has blamed the Congress MLA and Gujarat AICC Secretary- Alpesh Thakor- for fueling violence against the migrant workers. Following the attacks, thousands of migrant workers are fleeing Gujarat.
— Tv9 Gujarati (@tv9gujarati) October 8, 2018
— Tv9 Gujarati (@tv9gujarati) October 8, 2018
It has been found that Thakor Sena, headed by Congress MLA Alpesh Thakor, has been inciting a hate campaign against the migrant workers of Gujarat and Bihar. A video has surfaced of a member of Thakor Sena and Congress member of Uvarsad taluka panchayat, M V Thakor, who is seen openly threatening two non-Gujaratis. In the video he can be heard saying that by the end of the next day they should leave the house and the village otherwise they would have to face the anger of the people.
In a video accessed by Republic TV, a man could be seen threatening a migrant worker in the state. The exchange of words in the video is as follows-
Gujarati: bhaiyya ,are you alone or is there someone else?
Migrant: there are 4-5 more…
Gujarati: call them, I want to talk to them
Gujarati: where are they now?
Migrant: me and kaka are here as of now
Gujarati: call them…
Migrant: I am calling- they are coming, let them at least put their clothes on
Gujarati: where are you from?
Migrant: Bihar, MP
Gujarati: (unclear)…Our Thakor’s… Our Thakor’s daughter was 14 months old when she was raped, do you know that? Every one in India knows it. I am just telling you one thing, that too politely, I had also posted on Whatsaap. In two days, one day has gone by, by tomorrow 9 PM, all from UP and Bihar should leave Gujarat. My daughter was just 14 months old, not 14 years, the daughter of Thakor community was raped. How is that you are not aware? The news has spread everywhere, and you say you don’t know!! You are lying…
Gujarati- ok , you don’t know, but tomorrow by 9.30 pm .I don’t want anyone from UP and Bihar in my village. Because our daughter who was just 14 months old was brutally raped. All hailing from UP and Bihar have to leave. I will come tomorrow by 9 to check, entire Gandhinagar will come to check, then don’t say that I haven’t warned you.
Following the arrest of Ravindra Sahu, who allegedly raped the 14 months old girl, the Kshatriya Thakor Sena said that workers from other states should not be given jobs in Gujarat. According to a Zee News report, a mob of 200 people allegedly led by Thakor Sena members, stormed into a factory near Vadnagar town of Mehsana district on October 2 and physically assaulted the employees. According to reports, it was the head of Thakor Sena and Congress MLA Alpesh Thakor who had first raised the issue of non-Gujaratis in the state while demanding “justice” for the rape survivor.
Shivanand Jha, Director General of Police, said, “Non-Gujaratis were targeted, especially those who belonged to UP and Bihar were attacked by protestors. Till now, around 18 FIRs have been lodged, and we have been able to arrest more than 150 people. Strict action will be taken against them.”
342 nabbed in 6 district of Gujarat in wake of Thakor Sena agitation against migrant non-Gujaratis, 17 companies of SRP, 1 platoon deployed https://t.co/CBO9DwbpTD
— DeshGujarat (@DeshGujarat) October 7, 2018
The social media has been heavily misused to spread hatred against the migrant workers of UP and Bihar in Gujarat. The Ahmedabad cyber cell has identified 70 Facebook profiles which are allegedly spreading rumors related to the rape case and provoking people to attack migrant workers. Cyber Cell ACP Rajdeepsinh Zala said, “We have arrested one person Mahesh Thakor, a resident of Maninagar, Ahmedabad and a minor for spreading rumours and hatred.”
On this entire chain of violence, head of Thakor Sena, Alpesh Thakor said that their target was the “state government and companies”, not individuals or a community or caste in Gujarat. Congress leader Alpesh Thakor also demanded the withdrawal of cases against members of his community who were “innocent”. Indian Express quoted Thakor as saying, “I appeal for peace to all those behind these incidents. There could be members from our community and the Sena but no such instruction (to launch attacks) was given out from our side (Thakor Sena). This is to only defame us and the Sena. We are only aiming at peace and employment in the state.”
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