The "exodus" of north Indians from Mumbai and other parts of Maharashtra after Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) chief Raj Thackeray's tirade against them has affected industry operations, a business lobby said on Thursday.
It was the first time since Thackeray launched his campaign against migrants earlier this month, leading to violence clashes, that the corporate world has openly expressed its view.
"The exodus of migrants has affected industry operations, leading to serious consequences in terms of economic losses," the Indian Merchants Chambers (IMC) said in a statement.
IMC president Niraj Bajaj said every Indian citizen has the fundamental right to earn his livelihood in any part of the country. "This right must be protected by the state government unconditionally," he said.
The IMC said the attacks on innocent people from northern states are a serious issue of human rights violation and a matter of grave concern.
Bajaj added that Maharashtra's economic development today is because of the contribution by both locals and migrants.
According to him, such incidents tarnish the unique image of Mumbai as a cosmopolitan city and a melting pot that welcomes and accommodates all those who seek opportunities for work and contribute to the growth process of the state.