Gujarat is now facing an unexpected and disturbing situation with migrants from UP and Bihar fleeing the state in the wake of the most condemnable incident in which a baby was raped by a Bihari man on September 28. While the incident was given publicity on social media, the locals got angry and vent their anger on the migrants particularly from UP and Bihar. From the place of the incident the attacks on migrants gripped many parts of the state. This reaction was so fearful and severe that the migrants started returning to their home states. These are mainly industrial labourers who were chosen for attacks. The caste factor is also evident as the little girl who was victimized was a Thakor by caste and the people who are indulging in criminal attacks are mostly from that caste. In Ahmedabad over 100 migrants fled for their lives after a godown near a temple was set on fire. A tour operator who runs buses between Gujarat and UP and MP said at least 25000 migrants have left Ahmedabad. Biased debates on TV channels have also added to the chaos. A Congress leader Alpesh Thakor who allegedly made inciting remarks was arrested among more than 400 others. A week ago, the Congress leader said that due to the presence of migrants, crimes increased in the state. The BJP leaders are now alleging that these comments were instrumental to incite the locals to attack the migrants.
On October 8, the Congress president Rahul Gandhi said the violence in Gujarat was rooted in weak economy of the state. He condemned the attacks on migrants and castigated the lethargy of law and order machinery for the present situation. Meanwhile the Chief Ministers of UP and Bihar Yogi Adityanath and Nitish Kumar called up their Gujarat counterpart Vijay Rupani and asked him to strengthen security measures for the migrants. As in many other cases, social media is a villain of the piece. The law and order machinery could have contained the trouble when it was in the bud.
Such incidents occurred in other states also on different occasions and on different pretexts in the past. Shiv Sena and Maharashtra Nav Nirman Sena targeted Hindi speaking poor people in Bombay now Mumbai on the pretext that they were eating up the jobs of the locals. During eighties more than one lakh Bengalis fled Assam during anti-foreigners agitation. Hundreds of Biharis left Manipur after attacks on migrants by locals.
It is the first and foremost obligation of the law and order machinery to control the situation at the earliest.