North Indians have become a target of violence in Gujarat following the alleged rape of a 14-month-old girl where the accused is said to be from Bihar. In the subsequent police action, 342 arrests have been made by the authorities.
Social media such as Facebook and WhatsApp are being flooded with messages of hatred and warnings given out to non-natives. A person from Bihar was earlier arrested for allegedly raping the toddler on 28 September.
Free Press Journal quoted Director-General of Police Shivanand Jha as saying, “Six districts have mainly been affected (by the violence), with Mehsana and Sabarkantha being the worst-hit. In these districts, 42 cases have been lodged and so far, we have arrested 342 accused. More arrests will be made as the names of the accused come up during investigation.” As many as 17 companies of the state reserve police have been deployed in the affected areas, he added.
For the large numbers leaving to their home states of Bihar, UP and MP, Jha has stated that it might be because of the festive season coming up, so it shouldn’t be seen as otherwise. Gandhinagar, the worst-affected district, has witnessed camps organised by the police where local leaders are persuading people to stay.
Congress MLA Alpesh Thakor, who has seen as the one linking caste to the unfortunate incident, has threatened to go on a ‘Sadhbhavna’ (goodwill) fast from 11 October, if the government fails to withdraw all the charges pressed against his supporters. Taking advantage of the incident, Thakor had bought up the hatred against non-natives in the state who are from UP, Bihar and Madhya Pradesh mainly.