A 32-year-old labour contractor from Bihar was found dead in Althan area of Gujarat’s Surat around midnight on Friday, News18 reported. While Amarjeet Singh’s family claim a mob attacked him, the police has said he died after his motorbike hit a tree.
His death comes days after violence broke out against migrant workers in six districts in Gujarat following the arrest of a Bihar native for the alleged rape of a 14-month-old girl in Sabarkantha district on September 28. The violence led to an exodus of more than 60,000 Hindi-speaking people. The ruling Bharatiya Janata Party has blamed Congress MLA Alpesh Thakor and his outfit, the Kshatriya-Thakor Sena, for the violence.
Singh, who came from Gaya district in Bihar, had been living in Surat for the past 15 years. He worked in a mill in the city’s Pandeshwara area. Passersby took him to a hospital when they found him injured on a road near Bhagwan Mahavir College on Friday. However, the doctors declared him dead on arrival. Singh’s family said he had an injury on the back of his head and his bike was found in a damaged condition from the spot.
“My brother had gone to meet someone after a phone call at around 10 pm on Friday,” Singh’s brother Rakesh told The Times of India. “We received a call after some time that he was dead. He was murdered.”
Police Commissioner (Surat) Satish Sharma, however, denied the family’s allegations. “On the basis of our spot visit, we can say that it is a clear-cut case of over-speeding that led to the incident,” Sharma told The Indian Express. “We are also searching for his missing mobile phone.”
Police said they were collecting the closed-circuit television footage to examine the incident. They will also examine Singh’s call records.
Meanwhile, the Bihar Congress has blamed the Bharatiya Janata Party government in Gujarat for failing to handle the situation. “The killing of a Gaya youth has proved complete failure of law and order,” Bihar Congress unit chief Madan Mohan Jha told The Times of India. “Gujarat is the home state of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the chief minister [Vijay Rupani] is also his nominee. Still they are unable to control the situation and only accusing one person [Thakor] for the situation. I demand President’s rule in Gujarat.”
On October 11, the Gujarat High Court asked the state government to file an affidavit on the attacks on migrant workers.