Following the reports of a mass exodus of migrants from Gujarat, the state administration is trying unique ways to reach out to workers and allay their fears that triggered after some of the non-Gujaratis came under attack by local residents. The whole episode started after a migrant worker from Bihar allegedly abducted and raped a 14-month-old girl in Sabarkantha district on September 28.
This incident created tensions between migrants and locals — which led to thousands of people from Uttar Pradesh and Bihar leaving the state.
To stop the mass exodus, the state police have started confidence building exercise in which they are visiting sensitive places and organising events to bring people from across the region together. According to a report in The Indian Express, Ahmedabad police officers are hosting Garba events, where locals and migrants could dance together.
The report suggests that government officials have fanned out across five districts in Gujarat to reduce the tensions among the non-Gujaratis. The officials are visiting migrant workers’ shops and stalls to make them feel safer.
The report added that recently Aravalli district collector M Nagarajan and SP Mayur Patil ate pani puri at a stall run by a migrant. Patil later told IE: “It was to build confidence among the workers who have come from outside. Although the district was not affected much, this exercise was done to boost their confidence.”
The senior police officials are also meeting people at major railway stations. According to the report, Ahmedabad district collector Vikrant Pandey Ahmedabad Railway Station to know the reasons behind people’s moment.
He said that he had instructions from the top to reach out to the migrants. Following the instructions, Pandey decided to assess the ground reality by going to the entry and exit points at Railway stations.
According to the report, Vadodara Police Commissioner Anupam Singh Ghalaut, SP Tarun Duggal and collector Shalini Agarwal visited migrant workers and their families in Waghodia taluka where the first attacks on non-Gujarati labourers were reported.