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Alpesh Thakor Launches 'Goodwill' Fast Today, After Migrant Exodus From Gujarat

DIVYIA ASTHANA | 0
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| October 11 , 2018 , 13:05 IST

In the aftermath of the recent mass exodus of migrant workers from Gujarat, Congress MLA Alpesh Thakor from the state is launching a 'Sadbhavna Upvas' (fast for goodwill) on Thursday, to establish "peace and harmony". He announced the fast from his residence a few days back.

Thakor, in a statement to media on Thursday said, I am doing 'Sadbhavna Upvas' because the image my Gujarat is being maligned. There is no place for violence in Gujarat. No body was attacked here, the environment has been vitiated due to social media. We neither support regionalism nor will take it forward."

Thakor's associate Mukesh Bharwad described the goal of the fast and said, Our aim is to send a message that we are not against anyone. All we want is peace and harmony in Gujarat."

The mass exodus of Hindi-speaking migrant workers hailing from Uttar Pradesh and Bihar was triggered after violence when a man from Bihar was arrested for allegedly raping a 14-month-old girl in the Sabarkantha district on September 28.

ALSO READ: After Mass Exodus Of North Indians From Gujarat, Police Arrests Around 350 People, Lodges 35 FIRs

The Gujarat police arrested more than 350 people across five districts for targeting migrants, particularly from Uttar Pradesh and Bihar, in violent protests across the state. The ruling BJP in Gujarat blamed Thakor and his outfit Gujarat Kshatriya-Thakor Sena (GKTS) for the violence, especially since the 14-month-old girl hailed from the Thakor community.

While Alpesh Thakor himself admitted to agitation, he denied that any mass exodus of migrants took place.

“After the rape incident, we did agitate to seek justice for the child. The state government accepted our demands (fast-track courts and compensation). Three days after that, the attacks started, and GKTS workers are being framed… There is no mass exodus of migrants, as is being portrayed. Most of the north Indian migrants go to their villages during this period of the year and come back after Chhath Puja,” Thakor said.

He admitted that “there could be some instances” of GKTS members being involved in the attacks.

“I am not denying it. They will face punishment. However, that does not mean that the entire organisation is responsible for it. This is a conspiracy to finish me and my organisation. After the fast, I will go to Bihar and instill faith in its people,” Thakor said.