More than 5,000 migrant people working in factories as casual labourers and daily wage earners have fled fearing violent attacks on them amidst unabated incidents of violence targeting migrants in north Gujarat districts.
The rape of a toddler by a migrant worker in a village in Sabarkantha district triggered the violent attacks on migrants working in factories and construction sites.
The incident occurred on September 28, when a 14-month-old child was allegedly raped by a migrant worker who hailed from Bihar. Subsequently, the accused was arrested by the police, but this sparked off protests and violence against non-Gujarati-speaking migrants.
Over the last few days, violence has broken out in six districts, in which many migrant labourers were targeted, the police said.
As the migrants started fleeing, police launched a crackdown on miscreants and provided security in industrial units where migrants work.
“We have detained 342 people and filed about 42 cases,” Gujarat’s DGP Shivanand Jha told a gathering of journalists, adding that extra police force had been deployed in sensitive areas to maintain the law and order situation.