Ahmedabad's Chanakyapuri Flyover was flocked by several people with their packed bags on Saturday, as they were waiting for a bus to arrive that would take them back to their hometowns in Madhya Pradesh, Bihar and Uttar Pradesh.
Ahmedabad’s Chanakyapuri Flyover was flocked by several people with their packed bags on Saturday, as they were waiting for a bus to arrive that would take them back to their hometowns in Madhya Pradesh, Bihar and Uttar Pradesh. After mobs started attacking ‘non-Gujaratis’ over alleged raping of a 14-month-old girl, Hindi speaking population who have lived in the state for years are fleeing Gujarat.
Around 180 people had been arrested from across the state of Gujarat, from places like Sabatkantha, Mehsana, Patan, Gandhinagar and even Ahmebadad – in connection to attack on migrants.
Many of these migrant workers have been told to vacate the places where they stayed by their landlords. Rajkumari Jatav, while waiting for the bus, told IndianExpress.com that, her kids were playing on the streets when the mob attacked. And it shocked them so much that she had to take them to the doctor to calm them down.
Rajkumari, who has three children and her husband does paint jobs to put up the family in Chandlodiya area of Ahmedabad. She informed IE, that many of her neighbours who have been staying in that area for over seven years now are also fleeing, as all of them are afraid.
Another migrant painter, Dharmendra Kushwala, informed that nearly 1,500 people from Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh and Bihar had left the state in the last few days, and 200 more people had left yesterday only. Kushwala who has been staying in Ahmedabad for 2-years now said that a masked man had threatened him to leave Gujarat before 9 am the next day, else he will be dead.
Around 20 buses left for the neighbouring states on Saturday with around 1,600 people like Kushwala and Rajkumari – who were staying in Gujarat for a long time. A private bus operator that runs buses in this route informed IE.com that only a couple of buses run in such long-distance route every week, whereas now 20 such buses are leaving every day with around 80-90 people in each bus.
A building construction worker who has been staying in Gujarat for last 22 years said that there had been Hindu-Muslim riots before, but the situation now is unprecedented – he has never seen something like this before. Another worker Manju Singh said she was questioned by a group of men about her place of origin. “My sixth sense told me to lie, I said I was from Rajasthan. They probed further and asked me the name of the district, I mumbled a name. They let me go only after they had satisfied themselves I was not from Uttar Pradesh, Bihar or Madhya Pradesh,” she recalled to IE.com.
Another painter from UP said how the agitated mob set every pani puri stall in their locality on fire – and the landlord had instructed them to leave. However, she had no idea why this was happening.
Meanwhile, the child who had been raped in Sabarkantha district was released from the hospital yesterday, and the officials have said that she is out of danger. The alleged rapist of the girl had also been arrested.
Both state BJP and Congress have called out for peace in the state. State BJP Spokesperson, Bharat Pandya said that even though the incident is a “black spot on our society”, people should not give it any caste colour. While State Congress president Amit Chavda said that the anger was building up for a really long time amongst the unemployed youth, and the rape has acted as a trigger for the attacks.