The Chief Ministers of Uttar Pradesh and Bihar, Yogi Adityanath and Nitish Kumar, on Monday said they spoke to their Gujarat counterpart Vijay Rupani over attacks in the western state on non-Gujarati people, even as a TV report suggests that 47 workers from Bihar have been held hostage.
Non-Gujaratis, especially those hailing from Bihar and Uttar Pradesh, have been targeted by locals following the alleged rape of the girl by a native of Bihar, in Gujarat's Sabarkantha district on September 28.The attacks intensified following the circulation of hate messages on social media. Police have arrested 342 people from various parts of Gujarat for allegedly attacking non-Gujaratis.
According to Adityanath, Rupani told him that no such incident has taken place in the last three days.
“The Gujarat CM has clearly told me that no such incident has taken place in last three days. People who are jealous of development in Gujarat are spreading such rumours. Effective steps have been taken by the Gujarat government,” Adityanath told news agency ANI.
Rupani told reporters said the situation is under control in Gujarat and appealed to people to maintain peace and brotherhood. "The culprit of the rape case was arrested within 24 hours. We will ensure a severe punishment for the culprit," he said.
Earlier in the day, condemning the alleged rape of a 14-month-old girl, that triggered the violent attacks, Nitish Kumar said the guilty must be punished but an entire community should not be "tarred with the same brush".
"Our government is aware and alert. I spoke to the Gujarat chief minister on Sunday. Our chief secretary and director general of police are also in touch with their counterparts in Gujarat," Kumar told reporters in Patna.
"If somebody has committed a crime, he must be punished severely. But on account of one incident, people should not generalise and hold a grouse against an entire state," he said.A JD(U) leader in a two-page open letter to Congress president Rahul Gandhi, blamed the grand old party for the violence against Biharis.
"You appointed your Gujarat MLA Alpesh Thakor as one of the national secretaries in-charge of Bihar and his outfit Gujarat Kshatriya Thakor Sena is driving out migrant Biharis," Neeraj Kumar, a JD(U) MLC and spokesman, alleged.
India Today on Sunday reported that 47 workers from Bihar's Sheikhpura area were held hostage in Ahmedabad.
Meanwhile, Gujarat Home Minister Pradeepsinh Jadeja appealed to migrant workers to come back.
"It is our responsibility to provide security to those who come to Gujarat for employment from other states... We are very serious about resuming the law and order in the state. We have filed 35 FIRs (First Information Reports in this case," NDTV quoted Jadeja as saying.
(With agency inputs)