Congress lawmaker Alpesh Thakor said on Wednesday that he will sit on a fast outside Ahmedabad's Sabarmati Ashram on October 8 to seek justice for a 14-month-old girl who was raped in Gujarat's Sabarkantha district.
Mr Thakor, a prominent OBC leader who heads 'Kshatriya Thakor Sena', said his one-day "Sadbhavna Upvaas" will be an attempt to awaken the conscience of those who are "still silent" over the rape of a girl belonging to Thakor community.
"I demand that the rape case be tried by a fast-track court... the accused should get death sentence," Mr Thakor said.
"I am equally amazed by the silence of intellectual citizens, who have chosen to remain silent over this issue. Where is their conscience now? So I have decided to sit on a fast to raise the issue and make people understand the pain of that little girl," Mr Thakor said.
Members of the Thakor community, arrested by Gujarat police on Tuesday on the charges of rioting over the issue, should be released immediately, he said.
Thakor Sena has been staging protests in north Gujarat ever since a 14-month-old girl was allegedly raped by a migrant worker at Dhundhar in Sabarkantha district on September 28.
Police arrested the accused, Ravindra Gaande, a migrant worker from Bihar, from the village on the same day.
Some members of the Thakor Sena have demanded that workers from other states should not be given jobs in Gujarat.
A mob of around 200 persons, led by a Thakor Sena leader, stormed a factory near Vadnagar in Mehsana district Tuesday and thrashed two employees.
Inspector General of Police Mayanksinh Chavda said 20 persons have been arrested for the attack.
"Since the accused is from Bihar, some elements are spreading misleading messages on social media. As a result, some persons stormed the factory and injured some employees. I appeal the Thakor community to maintain peace," said Mr Chavda.
Alpesh Thakor condemned the attack but also demanded that government make it mandatory for migrant workers to get a no-objection certificate from police.
"I do not endorse what happened in Vadnagar. Non-Gujaratis are also Indians. I only demand that locals be given more jobs as per the state government's 80 per cent norm," the Congress lawmaker added.