As of Monday, October 8, at least 421 people had been arrested in Gujarat state over attacks on migrant workers following the recent rape of a child by a migrant worker. According to local authorities, dozens of attacks on migrant workers were reported amid related violent protests. Similar attacks and associated demonstrations are possible in the coming days and weeks. A heightened security presence and localized traffic disruptions are to be expected near protest sites.
According to data from the Indian National Crime Records Bureau, incidents of child rape in India increased by over 82 percent from 2015 to 2016, with over 19,000 sexual attacks on children recorded in 2016. The true number of incidents of sexual abuse and violence targeting children is likely higher than reported.
Under a new law enacted in 2013, prison terms for rapists were doubled to 20 years; voyeurism, stalking, and sex trafficking were criminalized, as well.
Individuals in Gujarat state are advised to monitor developments to the situation, avoid all protests and demonstrations as a precaution, and adhere to all instructions issued by the local authorities.