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North East exodus: Rumours blown out of proportion
North East people living in Bangalore have been fleeing the city due to the so-called threats that they have been hearing against them. But these are all rumours. CJ Ashim Sunam spoke to some North Eastern people living in Bangalore, and DCP Bangalore, about the ground reality.

YANCREINGAM YANGYA from Manipur works in a retail showroom in Bangalore. He is on leave for 10 days from work, and wants to remain indoors. North Eastern people in Bangalore are living in a state of fear. In the past 2-3 days there have been texts, and emails, which made North Eastern people feel insecure about their living in Bangalore. But, V.S. D'Souza, DCP (Intelligence), Bangalore, says, “They are just rumours that have been spreading in Bangalore.” All these incidents are taking place in the wake of the ethnic violence that erupted in Assam recently.

Yangya also knows that these are just romours but still he wants to see it for himself so he took 10 days leave from work. He wants to analyse the situation himself before re-joining work. But he says, “Nothing is serious”. Still, people are leaving the city.

More than 7000 people from the North East have left Bangalore fearing their lives. There are more than 2 lakh people from the North East in Bangalore. Some special trains were also provided with the rush that was seen in the railway station. Many people who have not left the city are walking in groups, and very few are seen walking lonely on the streets in the evening too.

It is not only people from the North East that are living in fear, and leaving the silicon valley of India, but also people from Darjeeling, and Tibetans, etc., who also have a similar sharp north east-like features. It is not easy to differentiate people, on the basis of facial features, from the north east. One such girl from Darjeeling, Bhumika Allay, who has been residing in Bangalore for the past 5 years or so, says, “Nothing has happened. It is all good and peaceful in Bangalore. I do not understand why people are leaving Bangalore.”

DCP D'Souza says “It is a panic effect”. Their relatives are calling them back from their hometown after watching news broadcasts. Though the ground reality is much different. Allay adds, “It is understood when people are petrified when we hear about some girls have been raped and attacked, etc”. There have been no such reported incidents. But, “Six cases have been registered by the police, after some North Easterns living in Bangalore complained about the threat they received from unknown persons,” says the DCP. All these cases are said to be under investigation. So the police have put their best foot forward so as to find out who started these rumours.

It is time for all North Eastern community living in Bangalore to trust the government and their statements, that security would be provided to them. Various high-level meetings have taken place between various North East groups and the government, which has given assurance to people from North East living in Bangalore.

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