GUWAHATI, Aug 23 – The State Government is keen to send back the people of the State who have fled other states of the country in the wake of hate message campaign launched by the Pakistan-based saboteurs early this month.
Talks with the Railway authorities are on to introduce special trains for the purpose next month, said Agriculture Minister Nilamani Sen Deka while talking to this newspaper. Deka, along with Transport Minister Chandan Brahma, visited Karnataka recently to assess the ground reality there.
He informed that the maximum rush of NE people in the wake of the hate message campaign was from Karnataka. Around three lakh people from the NE region are staying at various places of Karnataka, and of them, around 80,000 are staying in Bengaluru. Among these, around 10,000 people have fled Karnataka and of them around 8,000 belong to Assam in the wake of the hate message campaign.
Students constituted a very small number of these people. Those working as low paid employees like the security guards, drivers, helpers, labourers etc formed the major chunk of these escapees.
Over 50 per cent of these Assam-bound people were Muslims. They were returning to their respective places for taking part in the Eid celebrations. During the Eid, 3,000 to 4,000 Muslims of Assam-origin staying in Karnataka normally use to return to their respective homes.
Those, who have fled Karnataka, were staying at places where Muslim population is dominant, as, the rented houses are cheaper there.
This time, in the wake of the hate message campaign, the owners of these rented houses asked the NE people to leave for their respective states until the situation calms down.
Again, as Karnataka economy is dependent on the people from the NE region to some extent, the Karnataka Government also overreacted and arranged for special trains for the home-bound journey of the NE people. But this led to more panic.
The students of the NE region were met by the Assam Ministers at Bengaluru. None of the students could report any direct threat to them, Deka said.
Moreover, in the seven assault cases involving the outsiders in Karnataka during the recent period, only one case involved a Manipuri person and the rest six cases involved people of Sikkim and Nepal origin, he said.
The Karnataka Government has opened helpline. The Deputy Chief Minister and Law Minister of that state expressed their readiness to provide all sorts of assistance and visited the railway station in Bengaluru to meet the fleeing NE people.
The Deputy Commissioners and Superintendents of Police in Karnataka have been alerted and asked to take actions against those found involved in any mischief against the NE people, Deka said.