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After violence, many artisans leave Nuh & Gurugram in fear

Panicked after recent communal clashes in Nuh and Gurugram in Haryana, many artisans from the minority community have fled the violence-hit districts of Haryana. Much of the exodus has taken place from the Rojka Meo Industrial area in Nuh, and Gurugram’s Sector-37, Khandsa, Kadipur, Manesar and IMT Sohna.

The exodus was triggered after mobs led by right-wing groups indulged in stone pelting, set multiple shops ablaze, and threatened and thrashed scores of workers belonging to a particular community after a VHP procession was attacked in Muslim dominated area in Nuh.

The Nuh and Gurugram violence claimed the lives of six people and 88 were injured. The violence sparked widespread fear among migrant workers of a community who work in the textile industries in Nuh, Gurugram, and Sohna.

Also Read: Nuh violence: Why a ban on the entry of Muslim traders?

The exodus started on August 1 as the workers headed back to their homes in Bihar, Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh and West Bengal carrying their meagre luggage and accompanied by their wives and children.

“In Gurugram Muslim karigars have left Gurugram amid violence and fear. However, these karigars were not targeted in Gurugram and even no one has threatened them as they worked in garment houses and not in open shops like, salon shops, meat shops or scrap shops. They returned to their native places due to fear, which harms the garment industries’ production,” K.K. Gandhi, President of Industrial Association Sector-37 told Media.

Gandhi said the winter season is a few months away and this is a peak time for the production of winter clothes. The violence will surely prove to be a great loss to the garment industry. “We are leaving, we are no longer safe here and have no faith in the police,” said Babu Jha, a middle-aged Karigar from Bihar, who worked in one of the garment houses in Gurugram.

“We have told our employers that we no longer feel safe despite the presence of security guards,” he said. Meanwhile, the IMT Manesar Industrial Association has condemned the violence.

“We do not believe in religion among the workers. We hired workers as per their work quality and skill and at the time of hiring, we do not see religion. We strongly condemn the violence that erupted in Nuh and Gurugram,” Atul Mukhi, President of IMT Manesar Industrial Association told IANS.

Hundreds of policemen have been deployed across the two districts and authorities are building confidence among the remaining laborers.Yet, some migrants said their faith had been shaken.

“I am leaving Gurugram for good with my family. Nobody can protect us. People are threatening us. Landlord has vacated our homes,” said Rahim Khan, on his way to Bihar.

“In Rojka Meo around 30 to 40 textile, dying units and auto part units are operating but due to recent clashes Hindu as well as Muslim employees are not reporting to work. However, they were not targeted by anyone but due to fear they have left for their native places in Uttar Pradesh and Bihar,” R.S. Khatana, President of Mewat Chamber of Commerce Association, told Media.







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