Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar today said that he has spoken to his Gujarat counterpart Vijay Rupani and expressed concern over attacks in the western state on non-Gujarati people, including those from Bihar.
Condemning the alleged rape of a 14-month-old girl, which triggered the violent attacks, Mr Kumar said the guilty must be punished but an entire community should not be "tarred with the same brush".
"Our government is aware and alert. I spoke to the Gujarat chief minister Sunday. Our chief secretary and director general of police are also in touch with their counterparts in Gujarat," Mr Kumar told reporters here.
"If somebody has committed a crime, he must be punished severely. But on account of one incident, people should not generalise and hold a grouse against an entire state," he said.
Non-Gujaratis, especially those hailing from Bihar and Uttar Pradesh, have been targeted by locals following the alleged rape of the girl by a native of Bihar, in Gujarat's Sabarkantha district on September 28.
The attacks intensified following the circulation of hate messages on social media. The police have arrested 342 people from various parts of Gujarat for allegedly attacking non-Gujaratis.
A JD(U) leader in a two-page open letter to Congress president Rahul Gandhi, blamed the grand old party for the violence against Biharis.
"You appointed your Gujarat MLA Alpesh Thakor as one of the national secretaries in-charge of Bihar and his outfit Gujarat Kshatriya Thakor Sena is driving out migrant Biharis," Neeraj Kumar, a JD(U) MLC and spokesman, alleged.
He also took potshots at the Congress alliance with the RJD, saying the Rashtriya Janata Dal is "headed by a convicted person (Lalu Prasad) whose son (Tejashwi Yadav) is also facing corruption charges".
Reacting to the JD(U) MLC's charge, Congress leader Prem Chand Mishra said instead of writing a letter to Mr Gandhi, Neeraj Kumar should speak to his boss Nitish Kumar who is running a government in alliance with the BJP which rules Gujarat.
Madhepura MP Rajesh Ranjan alias Pappu Yadav expressed strong resentment over the humiliation Biharis have to face everywhere in the country, Gujarat being only the latest instance.
He asked the Chief Minister Nitish Kumar and deputy Chief Minister Sushil Kumar Modi to intervene and ensure that attacks on Biharis in Gujarat are stopped.
"If that does not happen, we will ensure that no Gujarati is able to enter Bihar for any purpose whatsoever," Mr Yadav, who has been known for using strong arm tactics in his three-decade-long political career, said.
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