The Chief Ministers of Uttar Pradesh and Bihar, Yogi Adityanath and Nitish Kumar, on Monday spoke to their Gujarat counterpart Vijay Rupani over attacks on migrant workers that led to many of them leaving the western state. As the pressure mounted, Mr Rupani said the situation in Gujarat "is under control" and appealed to people to "maintain peace and brotherhood."
Gujarat government urged the migrant workers, who left the state following violence in five districts to return to Gujarat. Mr Rupani pointed out that the culprit of the rape case that had triggered the attack was "arrested within 24 hours".
The migrant workers from Bihar and Uttar Pradesh have been targeted in the districts - mostly Mehsana and Sabarkantha - a week after a 14-month-old girl was raped, allegedly by a migrant labourer on September 28.
Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath said Mr Rupani conveyed to him that there has not been a single incident of attack reported against the migrant workers in past three days and charged that those who are 'jealous' of Gujarat are spreading rumours of attack.
"Gujarat is a peace-loving state, a model state. Those who are jealous of Gujarat spread rumors when they run out of reasons to hit out. Chief Minister Rupani has assured security (of the workers)," he told reporters.
Strongly condemning the alleged rape of a 14-month-old girl, Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar said the guilty must be punished but that should not lead to an entire community being "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 said. However, he stressed that in the name of one incident, none should hold a grouse against the whole state.
"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. The incident triggered attack against the migrant workers, which was further fueled by the hate messages on social media.
Gujarat Home Minister Pradeepsinh Jadeja said more than 450 people have been arrested for the attacks on the migrants and the state police chief is reviewing the situation
"It is our responsibility to provide security to those who come to Gujarat for employment from other states... We are very serious about resuming the law and order in the state. We have filed 35 FIRs (First Information Reports in this case," said Jadeja.
The child was raped in Sabarkantha district of on September 28, after which the man accused of the crime was arrested by the police. Over the last few days, however, violence broke out in six districts -- Gandhinagar, Ahmedabad, Patan, Sabarkantha and Mehsana -- in which many migrant labourers were targetted, the police said. A part of Ahmedabad city was also affected.
The Gujarat police have tightened security in the disturbed areas with regular patrolling and pushing in more personnel.
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