Peace restored, migrants returning to Gujarat: Deputy CM Nitin Patel

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New Delhi | Published: October 14, 2018 2:26:31 PM

Gujarat Deputy Chief Minister Nitin Patel on Saturday said that migrant workers who fled the state are returning to Gujarat and peace has been restored in the state.

The attacks began after the alleged rape of a 14-month-old girl in Sabarkantha district on September 28 and the arrest of a labourer hailing from Bihar for the crime. (File photo: PTI)

Gujarat Deputy Chief Minister Nitin Patel on Saturday said that migrant workers who fled the state are returning to Gujarat and peace has been restored in the state. Patel, who was in Mumbai on Saturday accused the Congress of being behind the attacks. Last week, Patel had accused Congress MLA Alpesh Thakore’s outfit as being behind the attacks on migrants. According to news agency PTI, Patel also said that the state has continued to attract big-ticket investments and continues to be ahead on the investment front and migrants had contributed to the growth story of Gujarat.

The attacks began after the alleged rape of a 14-month-old girl in Sabarkantha district on September 28 and the arrest of a labourer hailing from Bihar for the crime. Soon after that, some districts in north Gujarat had seen sporadic incidents of violence against Hindi-speaking people.

The incident took a political turn when both the BJP and Congress traded charges on each other for instigating violence against migrants. While the BJP has blamed Alpesh Thakor for the crisis, the opposition has alleged that it was a failure of the government and the police administration.

Meanwhile, adopting confidence-building measures, authorities are reaching out to migrant workers. On Saturday, Chief Secretary J N Singh directed the collectors of affected districts to reach out to migrants to instil confidence in them, news agency PTI reported. In one such measure, Aravalli district collector N Nagarajan, accompanied by superintendent of police (SP) Mayur Patil, on Thursday had ‘pani puri’ from the stall of a migrant from Madhya Pradesh.

Likewise, Collectors of Ahmedabad, Vadodara, Surat and other affected districts also visited areas with large migrant populations to spend time with them and allay their concerns about safety. Over the last few days, several meetings with leaders of organisations representing migrants were held, most of whom are employed in industrial belts of Gujarat.

Meanwhile, the Gujarat High Court has sought a detailed report from the state government. According to a report in The Indian Express, the court on Thursday admitted a plea seeking action be taken against those who are inciting violence against the outsiders. The plea was filed by advocate and social activist Khemchand Koshti of Ahmedabad.

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