Gujarat: Surat tense after migrant worker from Bihar named prime suspect in toddler’s rape and murder, fresh violence in Vadodara

By: | Updated: October 17, 2018 1:26 PM

Surat Police Commissioner Satish Sharma said that state police have identified the suspect and a team was sent to Bihar to nab him.

GUJARAT VIOLENCETaking a tough cognisance of the events, 431 people were arrested and 56 FIRs registered by the Gujarat government.

Tension continues to foment in areas of Gujarat after a migrant worker from Bihar was named as a suspect in the rape and murder of a toddler in Surat. In Vadodara, a civil engineer and six construction labourers from Bihar were attacked for reportedly “wearing lungi”. This comes days after Gujarat Chief Minister Vijay Rupani met his Uttar Pradesh counterpart Yogi Adityanath and discussed the issue of the recent exodus of workers from UP and Bihar.

Girl raped and killed in Surat

Surat Police Commissioner Satish Sharma said that state police have identified the suspect and a team was sent to Bihar to nab him. “We have also made different teams to trace the accused in neighbouring areas… We have added sections like rape, murder, atrocity and POCSO.” the police commissioner was quoted as saying by IE. The girl went missing from outside her house on October 14. Her body was found on October 15 stuffed in a gunny bag from the neighbourhood where the 22-year-old accused was residing on rented accomodation. The postmortem report showed that she had been raped before being murdered. The suspect even joined the search operation by locals. However, his mobile phone was switched off from October 15 morning.

Men assaulted in Vadodara

In another industrial city of Gujarat, seven persons from Bihar, who were engaged in the construction of a primary school building in the city, were manhandled by a mob led by 27-year-old Keyur Parmar allegedly for wearing lungi. They were abused for the choice of clothes. A motorcycle was set ablaze.

How did the things start?

A 14-month-old girl was allegedly raped in Sabarkantha district on September 28. Subsequently, violence erupted in six districts, most of them in north Gujarat against Hindi-speaking people, police were quoted as saying by PTI. Ravindra Sahu, a labourer hailing from Bihar and working in a local ceramic factory, was arrested for the crime. Uttar Bharatiya Vikas Parishad president Maheshsingh Kushwah claimed that over 20,000 people belonging to Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh and Bihar had already fled Gujarat due to the prevailing situation.

Over 400 arrested

Taking a tough cognisance of the events, 431 people were arrested and 56 FIRs registered by the Gujarat government. Chief Minister Vijay Rupani made an appeal to people not to engage in violence and assured that the government is committed to maintaining law and order. “People can call police in case of trouble. We will provide them security.” Nitish Kumar also condemned the rape incident. He, however, said that an entire community must not be tarred with the same brush. “Our government is aware and alert. I spoke to the Gujarat chief minister yesterday. Our Chief Secretary and DGP are also in touch with their counterparts in Gujarat,” Kumar told reporters in Patna.

Terming Gujarat as a peace-loving state and a model of development, Adityanath said the Gujarat chief minister told him that his government has ensured the safety of all.

Congress, Alpesh Thakor blamed for violence

A political slugfest erupted soon after reports of violence and migrants from north India leaving the state out of fear. A JD(U) MLC wrote an open letter to Congress President Rahul Gandhi saying, “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.” In a veiled attack, Gujarat Home Minister Pradeepsinh Jadeja said efforts were underway to find out whether “it(attacks) is a conspiracy by those who are out of power in Gujarat since the last 22 years”.

Police have arrested several members of the Thakor Sena in connection with the attacks and lodged FIRs against the outfit. The president of the outfit and Congress MLA Alpesh Thakor hit back sayibng that that youth from the community were being falsely implicated.

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