Gujarat authorities reach out to migrant workers to stop exodus

Non-Gujaratis were targeted after a native of Bihar was arrested for allegedly raping the toddler in Sabarkantha district on September 28.

Published: 14th October 2018 12:19 AM  |   Last Updated: 14th October 2018 12:19 AM   |  A+A-

Migrant workers wait to board a train out of Gujarat in view of protests and violence breaking out over the alleged rape of a 14-month-old girl in Ahmedabad Tuesday Oct 9 2018. | (File | PTI)

By PTI

AHMEDABAD: The authorities in Gujarat districts which saw attacks on Hindi-speaking migrant workers following the rape of a 14-month-old girl are reaching out to the affected people to persuade them to stay back.

Non-Gujaratis were targeted after a native of Bihar was arrested for allegedly raping the toddler in Sabarkantha district on September 28.

The attacks triggered an exodus of Hindi-speaking workers from Gujarat.

Chief Secretary J N Singh directed the collectors of affected districts to reach out to Hindi-speaking migrants to instill confidence in them.

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.

"Tasted #Panipuri at a stall run by an entrepreneur belonging to #NorthIndia with @Arvalli_SP @DdoArvalli.

He expressed full confidence in measures taken by the district administration to ensure safety and security and maintain law and order," Nagarajan said in a tweet.

He also shared photos of his meetings with migrants' representatives.

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.

The collectors were accompanied by the respective SPs.

Over the last few days, they also held meetings with leaders of organisations representing Hindi-speaking migrants, most of whom are employed in industrial belts of Gujarat.

Ahmedabad collector Vikrant Pandey shared on Twitter measures being taken by his office to prevent migrants from leaving, including visits to the railway station and meeting workers in industrial areas.

Earlier on Tuesday, Pandey told reporters, "The situation is normal and there is nothing to worry about."

Police officials organised meetings of local peace committees and felicitated migrant workers for their contribution to the state.

On Wednesday, Additional Commissioner of Police, Ahmedabad city, Ashok Yadav felicitated around 250 families of workers from Naroda and Odhav industrial areas.

He said the move was aimed at boosting their morale.

The Gujarat police said they have taken action against people responsible for spreading rumours that led to attacks on migrants and to ensure social media is not misused.

No fresh incidents of attack on migrants have been reported from any part of Gujarat since the last few days.

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