Punish My Son, Don’t Attack Others: Gujarat Rape Accused’s Mother
Migrants from Bihar and UP have been facing backlash after a Bihari youth allegedly raped a toddler in Gujarat.
Amid backlash against migrants from Bihar and Uttar Pradesh in Gujarat following the rape of a 14-month-old girl by a Bihari youth, the accused's mother, on 11 October, has urged Gujarat's people to punish her son if he is found guilty, but not target other Biharis in the state.
"Hang him if he is found guilty for the crime, but do not harass and drive out the Biharis because of my son’s sin." Ramawati Devi told reporters, as quoted by Hindustan Times.
Ramawati, who belongs to an extremely poor Scheduled Caste family, is a resident of Natwar-Kangoi village in Saran district. The accused's father, Sawalia Sah, a labourer, said:
“My son is a minor and mentally unsound as he often behaved abnormally at times. He could only study till Class 5. He is third among four brothers. Two years ago, he went to Gujarat with his friends to make a living without informing anyone. We got to know about his whereabouts only a few months ago.”
Dallan Prasad Yadav, the former head of the Sonbarsha panchayat in whose house the youth had worked as a helper before he left for Gujarat, said although he found the accused “grumpy, stubborn and lazy”, he doubts that he would sexually assault an infant, reported Hindustan Times.
Since the alleged rape of a 14-month-old girl in Sabarkantha district, around 100 km from Ahmedabad, on 28 September, and the arrest of a labourer hailing from Bihar for the crime, six districts, most of them in north Gujarat, have seen sporadic incidents of violence against Hindi-speaking people.
Ravindra Sahu, a labourer hailing from Bihar working in a local ceramic factory in Gujarat, was arrested the same day for the toddler's rape.
The migrants from Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and Madhya Pradesh fled in thousands after attacks.
Minister of State for Home Pradipsinh Jadeja said on Tuesday, 9 October, that 533 people were arrested so far across the affected districts after 61 cases were filed.
Congress President Rahul Gandhi had earlier brought up the exodus of the Hindi-speaking migrants, saying youths from Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh are being attacked and forced to leave.
However, Chief Minister Vijay Rupani on Tuesday asked whether Gandhi will take action against his party's "own members who incited violence against the migrants in Gujarat".
The BJP has been blaming Congress MLA Alpesh Thakor and his outfit, Gujarat Kshatriya-Thakor Sena, for the outbreak of violence.
After the alleged rape of the 14-month-old girl, who belonged to his community, Thakor had blamed in public a "non-Gujarati" for the crime.
The exodus of Hindi-speaking migrants from Gujarat after attacks on them in several parts of the state showed no signs of abating on this week.
Police had intensified patrolling in areas near industrial estates and places where migrant workers stay in a bid to instill confidence among people.
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