Attributing the violent attacks on migrant workers in Gujarat to frustration among unemployed youth, Congress President Rahul Gandhi on Tuesday said the migrant workforce is “critical” for economic growth and must be curbed immediately.
“Across Gujarat, poor economic policies, demonetisation and poorly executed GST (Goods and Services Tax) have devastated industry resulting in the shutting down of factories and industrial units, leading to massive unemployment,” the Congress chief said in a Facebook post. He said that amongst the “youth” there was “growing frustration and anger” with the government’s inability to create jobs. “This anger and frustration is being manifested in violent attacks on migrants, across the state of Gujarat,” he added.
“The migrant workforce is critical to our economic growth. Attacks on them create an environment of fear and insecurity that is not good for business and our economy.” Gandhi urged the state government to act “decisively”, “and do all it can to restore peace and ensure safety of every Indian”. His remarks came amid the incidents of attacks on migrant labourers from north India spurred by rape of a 14-month-old girl in a village near Himmatnagar town, around 100 km from Ahmedabad.
After the rape of the toddler, there were widespread attacks on migrant labourer residents, especially from north India, believing that some from the community were responsible for the ghastly crime. The police had arrested a labourer originally from Bihar, Ravindra Sahu, for the crime. Sahu was working in a ceramic factory. Gujarat Police have filed 35 complaints and detained around 450 persons for attacking the migrant community residing in the state.