- Hundreds of migrant workers from UP, Bihar have left north Gujarat
- They left over protests after a 14-month-old baby girl was raped
- Over 150 have been arrested for allegedly targeting migrant workers
Hundreds of migrant workers from Uttar Pradesh and Bihar have left north Gujarat after protests broke out over the rape of a 14-month-old girl -- allegedly by a man from Bihar -- the police said. The child was raped in Sabarkantha district on September 28, after which the accused was arrested. Over the last few days, however, violence broke out in six districts, in which many migrant labourers were targetted, the police said. Extra forces have been stationed in these areas and more than 300 people have been arrested.
The police said protests broke out in Gandhinagar, Ahmedabad, Patan, Sabarkantha and Mehsana a day after the accused was arrested.
"In reaction to the Himmatnagar's Gambhoi rape incident, some people are targeting those who have come to Gujarat from other states. This is totally unacceptable," state police chief Shivanand Jha told news agency ANI.
The worst of the violence, he said, took place in Mehsana and Sabarkantha, where the many of the troops have been stationed.
"A part of Ahmedabad city was also affected. In these districts and Ahmedabad 42 cases have been registered," the police chief said.
The police, he said, have arrested 342 people. "We are looking at opening cases against other accused also. We hope to arrest those accused also as cases are filed," the police chief said.
Gujarat Congress legislator Alpesh Thakor, who heads the Thakor Sena group in the state, has appealed for calm. Mr Thakor's group has been accused of leading the attacks on the migrant workers from the two states.
Alpesh Thakor has denied the allegations. "This is unfortunate. We have never advocated violence and only talked peace. All Indians are safe in Gujarat," Mr Thakor said.
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