Gujarat: Over 150 Arrested For Violence Against Non-Gujaratis After Rape Of An Infant
On October 5, 180 people got arrested in Gujarat. They are accused of attacking non-Gujarati people in the state mostly from Bihar and Uttar Pradesh. Till now 18 FIRs have been lodged.
This incident took place as a consequence to last week’s event where a native of Bihar, Ravindra Sahu allegedly raped a 14-month-old girl in Sabarkantha district of Gujarat. Follow this hate messages started flowing in the social media against non-Gujarati’s especially those hailing from Bihar and Uttar Pradesh. As reported by The Indian Express, violent protests broke at places like Gandhinagar, Ahmedabad, Patan, Sabarkantha and Mehsana.
It has been alleged that the attackers were mostly from the Thakor community because the victim was also from the same community. “Since the accused is from Bihar and the victim belongs to the Thakor community, some elements are spreading misleading messages on social media,” said Inspector General, Gandhinagar Range, Mayanksinh Chavda told The Hindu.
Series of attack
The first two FIRs were registered after a crowd attacked the man in Chandlodia and in the second incident a woman was surrounded by a group of men at Sabarmati.
This situation came to light when Kedarnath Agrehi, a 23-year-old rickshaw driver from Uttar Pradesh who lives in Chandlodia complained to the police after he was attacked by a mob of 25 people. “The mob started ransacking vegetable carts and attacking people. When I tried to flee, they stopped me, banged on the windshield of my rickshaw and beat me up with a stick. I suffered a fracture in my figure and shoulder” according to Agrehi state in FIR reported by The Times of India.
As reported by The Hindu, A 200-strong mob, allegedly led by Thakor Sena members, attacked two employees of a factory near Vadnagar town of Mehsana district on October 2. Following this incident, 20 people were arrested on the charges of rioting. Reportedly, several panipuri vendors were attacked by the mob in North Gujarat.
“Non-Gujaratis are our brothers”
Congress MLA Alpesh Thakor belonging to the Thakor community has demanded the release of those who were not involved in violence. He has threatened that he will take legal action if they are not released within 72 hours. He has said that those booked by the police are in fact innocent, as reported by The Indian Express. He also happens to be the president of “Kshatriya Thakor Sena”. This particular group has come under the police scanner for inciting violence.
As reported by Scroll, Alpesh Thakor told the media persons that Non-Gujaratis were not their targets and that a meeting of members of Thakor Sena was called to discuss this issue. He further added that he would ask the members to stop the attacks.
While speaking to The Indian Express, he said, “I appeal for peace to all those behind these incidents. There could be members from our community and Sena but no such instruction (to launch attacks) was given out from our side (Thakor Sena). This is to only defame us and the Sena. We are only aiming at peace and employment in the state.”
He also demanded that the rape case is handled by a fast-track court and that the accused is awarded death sentence.