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Fear of attacks results in exodus from northeast India

Publication Date : 17-08-2012


The exodus of fear-struck people from the northeast in Bangalore fuelled by rumours of impending violence against them continued unabated yesterday, as Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh stepped in calling for maintaining peace at “any cost”.

The central government (centre) and the Karnataka government acted in tandem assuring the people of the northeast safety and appealed to them not to fall prey to rumour-mongering while chief ministers of northeastern states, including Tarun Gogoi (Assam), asked the people not to panic.

A day after 6,800 people from the northeast left Bangalore by jam-packed trains, the main railway station was choc-a-block with hundreds from the region eager to return to their homes, in the backdrop of rumours of an impending attack on them in the aftermath of the Assam violence.

Special trains were also being operated by the Railways amid reports that people from the northeast in Chennai, Hyderabad, Mumbai and Pune were also returning home.

Singh said all political parties must work together to give a feeling of confidence to all affected people.

“We must work together to ensure that all people from other states do not feel threatened by rumour mongering and SMSes. We have to maintain peace at any cost,” Singh said at an Iftar hosted by him in New Delhi.

Even as the panic among  community members from the northeast appeared to be subsiding, the railways introduced two special trains for those wanting to leave the IT city in a hurry for  Guwahati. The South Western Railway arranged the trains with departure timings of 8 and 10pm, respectively, with the objective of clearing the rush. The two trains would reach Guwahati on Sunday morning.

MPs from the region sought adequate protection for those belonging to the area. Congress MPs from the northeast met party chief Sonia Gandhi and apprised her of the situation. The leader of the opposition in the Lok Sabha, Sushma Swaraj, demanded that the centre guarantee the safety and security of the people who have become targets of attacks.


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