Posted On Friday, August 17, 2012 at 08:30:24 AM
|Many members of the northeast community were seen boarding trains to Guwahati from Secunderabad station on Thursday
As the news of thousands of panic-stricken Assamese fleeing Karnataka hit the headlines on Thursday, there were reports about similar mass exodus from Hyderabad to the northeastern state. Rumours that Assamese would be targeted if they failed to leave the city by Ramzan prompted them to pack off, sources said.
The situation is the fallout of the recent clashes between Bodo tribes and Muslim settlers in Assam's Kokrajhar district which led to the death of 80 people and rendered 4 lakh homeless. Police sources the movement began on Sunday with about 20 families or individuals leaving in one day with luggage, vacating their accommodation.
Assurances from their employers' too failed to stop them from leaving the city. The Hyderabad police have reached out to the community saying they were safe in the city. "We are constantly monitoring the situation", said police commissioner Anurag Sharma. Sharma maintained, "The reports that nearly 3,000 people have left the city are wrong. Only a few have left in panic.
There is no need to be apprehensive about security here." The police have set up two helpline numbers (040)2785333 or 23261166 for emergency help in case of any attack or threat. According to Hyderabad Assamese Association leader Sarbeshwar Saraiah, Hyderabad has a population of more than 10,000 people from his home state.
Sources said rumours of some Assamese youth being attacked at different places in the city on Tuesday and Wednesday were doing rounds, while police didn't confirm if any formal complaints were received from the victims. Vishwa Hindu Parishad twin cities unit joint secretary Yaman Singh said half of the Assames living at Madhapur had vacated the city.
Dr Singh decries rumours
Decrying rumours about attacks on people from northeast living in other states, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Thursday made an appeal to remain vigilant and maintain peace at any cost. "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 the same time, the Centre asked Karnataka, Maharashtra and Andhra Pradesh to reach out to the people from northeast to allay apprehensions of threat. The Home Ministry also directed monitoring of social networking sites and find out the origin of SMSes through which rumours were spread to generate panic.
Muthalik, RSS giving solace to northeast folks
Sri Ram Sene's Pramod Muthalik, known for his outfit's infamous attack on innocent youths partying at a pub in Mangalore in 2008, wasted no time in heading to heading to Bangalore City Station, where people of northeast origins were rushing back home, to offer solace.
The Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh activists too made their presence felt at the station to gain mileage out of the Assam situation that has the potential to be projected as Congress's (it rules Assam) shame to the constant taunt about the post-Godhra riots targeting Muslims in Gujarat under Hindutva poster-boy Narendra Modi.
Meanwhile, Bangalore Police have begun a probe to find out who spread panic in the city provoking thousands of people from the north east to flee the city. Whoever sent that SMS suggesting that they will be attacked will soon be found out and booked under the law, police sources said.
Kokrajhar erupts again
Fresh violence gripped this troubletorn Assam district leaving at least nine seriously injured while unrest spread to Kamrup which reported arson and police firing on Thursday.
"Around 12.30 pm, miscreants threw acid on an autorickshaw carrying members of a minority family at Gossaigaon town of Kokrajhar district seriously injuring nine travellers," police said.
The situation in the town was tense since the incident and the injured were taken to nearby Dhubri civil hospital for treatment, they said. Night curfew is on in the district from 9 pm, while day curfew had been relaxed.