- Assam organizations Appeal
NE community in capital calm, but not taking chancesBy Pallavi Polanki
New Delhi: Dramatic images of people from the North East leaving en masse from Bangalore, coming in the wake of attacks on them in Pune and Hyderabad, has put the community in the capital on alert.
Delhi has so far not seen any attacks or rumours of the kind being reported from cities in south India. The rumours alleged attacks targetting citizens from north eastern states following ethnic clashes in Assam that has left 77 people dead.
Speaking about the predominant mood in the community, Raskan Jonah of the Naga Students Union, said, “For now, the students of the North East in Delhi are not feeling insecure. We are taking precautions so that no uninvited incidents occur. Student bodies and the North East communities are alert and ready to put pressure on the police to give extra attention to people of the North East so that what has happened in other cities does not happen here. But we feel that what has happened in other metros cannot happen in Delhi.”
Explaining the reasons for the sense of security, Jonah said: “We have organizations here, our MPs are here, and there are many police officers from the North East in Delhi. For now, we don’t feel the need to panic.”
To make sure all steps towards securing the community are taken, the All Assamese Students Assocation (AASA) is meeting the senior police officials later today. “We are going to meet Hibu Robin, the Joint Commissioner of Police, and the DCP, North Delhi. We will talk about the steps being taken in Delhi regarding security of North East students,” said Mitul Vikash Medhi, president of the Association.
Reiterating the relatively better state of security in Delhi, he said, “The North East community in Delhi is safer than it is in Pune or Hyderabad. There have been instances of verbal abuse but no life threats and such. There is security to an extent, but not enough. We are leaving no stone unturned to beef up security.”
Rumours, false reports spook Assamese in Andhra Pradesh
“It all started with reports in a few newspapers and TV channels based in Assam. One such report said the Assamese in Hyderabad were given a deadline of August 20 to leave the city,” said Subhash Dutta, Assam Youth Welfare Association chairman, at a meeting called by the police here to clear the apprehensions of students and security guards from Assam at the National Academy of Construction (NAC) on Thursday.
“Did any one of you receive any threat [sic] phone call or was anyone intimidated?” asked T. Yoganand, Deputy Commissioner of Police of Madhapur zone, at the meeting.
No affirmative answers were received.
Mr. Dutta, who came to Hyderabad on learning about the flight, felt that family concerns led to the rush for home.
An isolated incident of three unidentified persons beating up a person from Assam and snatching away his mobile phone in Raidurg police station area was reported four days ago. No other such attack was reported from anywhere else.
The incident, however, led to a flurry of phone calls from family members to the Assamese working here enquiring about their safety. While news about the Raidurg incident spread like wildfire, rumour mills worked overtime circulating false stories that the Assamese were being attacked.
The rumours had an immediate impact on guards working mostly in Siddiquinagar of Madhapur and Anjaiahnagar of Raidurg where IT firms are located. Nearly 800 guards left these places, Mr. Yoganand revealed.
Police intensify patrols
Not willing to take any chances, the police have deployed pickets and intensified patrolling in localities where the Assamese live. Hyderabad MP and MIM President Asaduddin Owaisi also visited the areas and assured Assamese residents that they faced no threat.
Apparently, not the entire community is affected. “I travelled from Guntur to Hyderabad all through the night along with seven students from the North-Eastern States and stopped at roadside hotels. We didn’t face any trouble,” Mr. Dutta said.
Panicky Assamese leaving Maharashtra
MUMBAI: People from Assam and other northeast states are fleeing to their home states after some of them were targeted by miscreants in Maharashtra in the past few days, officials said Thursday.
Since early this week, an estimated 1,500 northeastern people have returned home from Mumbai, Pune and Nashik.
While over 300 Assamese left early Thursday from Pune and Nashik each, another 400 left from Mumbai on Wednesday.
Pune Assistant Commissioner of Police Sanjeev Singhal said there was no cause for people from the northeast to leave.
"They are apparently influenced by some MMSs being circulated. We have appealed to their community leaders not to panic and avoid forwarding such MMSs," Singhal said.
He spoke after meeting representatives of the people from the northeast in the city.
Last week at least 10 people from the northeast, mostly students, were brutally beaten, sending shockwaves in the community.
So far police have nabbed 13 people in connection with the two incidents in Hadpsar and Kondwa areas of the city.
Though there have been no similar attacks in Mumbai and Nashik, many from the two cities are scared, a police source said.
Home minister Sushil Kumar Shinde on Thursday urged people from the northeast living in the state not to get scared or misled by rumours.
At the same time, he said that if required additional trains would be deployed on the Mumbai-Assam sector to clear the rush of people wanting to leave.
In Mumbai, Assam Association of Mumbai president Paban Kumar Kataky expressed "regret" over the "tragic incidents" and said people from the northeast settled here are apprehensive.
"I would not like to comment on how many people are leaving or not since it can create more tension," Kataky said.
According to Kataky, around 15,000 Assamese live, work or study in Mumbai. Another 5,000 are based in Pune and Nashik each.
Besides, there are around 10,000 people from the other northeastern states spread out across Mumbai and other parts of the state.
Kataky said a majority of them worked with private companies or in the hospitality industry. The young were mainly students.