Cities like Hyderabad and Pune have been on edge with their large North Eastern communities feeling insecure about their safety. In the last month, nearly 80 people have died in ethnic violence in Assam and doctored MMS-es and text messages have infected other states, warning that students and professionals from the North East will be attacked.
Thousands have been boarding special trains in Bangalore, Pune and Hyderabad to head back home, though many have clarified that they are visiting their families for the long weekend. The Karnataka government has stressed that nobody from the North East has been attacked and the police is patrolling neighbourhoods popular with people from states like Assam, Manipur and Mizoram, "The whole government is with you....don't worry," said chief minister Jagadish Shettar yesterday.
Helplines have been set up in Hyderabad ( 040-27852333 and 23261166) and Bangalore (080- 22250999, 080- 22942222).
The government has said those who are spreading rumours online and through text messages will be identified and punished. The Home Affairs Ministry has ordered online surveillance.
In parliament, leaders across political parties said that all Indians from the North East must rest assured that their safety is a priority for the government and that they must work and live wherever they want