IMPHAL, August 17: The state government has decided to depute ranking officers to deal with the panic situation created by violence and subsequent wild rumours at Pune and Bangalore, following an emergency cabinet meeting today evening.
Appeals and assurances of safety by the Karnataka government notwithstanding, people from northeast continued to flee the State in hordes for the third consecutive day today, driven by rumours of impending attacks.
As rumours of threats and assaults continue the state cabinet held an emergency meeting today evening and decided upon deputing high ranking officials to act as Liaison Officers at Pune and Bangalore.
As per the cabinet decision, DIG (Range I) Clay Khongsai, IPS and Chandel SP Elangbam Priyokumar, IPS will leave for Bangalore and Pune respectively tomorrow to liaise with the state governments there and to facilitate the stay of the Manipuris staying there.
Meanwhile, the Additional Secretary (Home) M Yaiskul, MCS and Deputy Secretary (Home) Ranjan Yumnam, MCS will be stationed at Guwahati to liaise with various Manipuri students arriving from different cities of the country.
Briefing newsmen at his Babupara residence state Home Minister Gaikhangam said that he is in touch with the governments of both Maharastra and Karnataka and both his counterparts have assured the safety of students and Manipuris staying there.
Gaikhangam further appealed to Manipuris staying outside the state not to be swayed by wild rumours and to remain calm.
Meanwhile, a police picket has been opened at Dr DY Patil Dental College of Pune following the attempted assault on Rojina Chirom, a student of the college and a plainclothes policeman has been stationed in front of her room at the hostel, according to reports reaching Imphal.
The Manipuri exodus, so far confined to Bangalore, has now spread to some other parts with people of the northeastern region living in Mysore, Mangalore and Kodagu arriving in Bangalore and rushing to railway counters to buy tickets.
More than 15,000 people have fled the city in the past two days following the rumours, official sources said today.
The Railways sold 9,718 tickets for the two special trains that headed to Guwahati last night, Divisional Railway Manager, Bangalore, Anil Kumar Agarwal, told agencies this morning.
Officials estimate the number of people from the northeast, including students, residing in Bangalore in the range of 2.5 lakh and 2.75 lakh.
The government continued to reach out to the community urging them to stay on and assured them that it is committed to safeguarding their lives and property in Karnataka.
“We on behalf of people of Karnataka and Government once again reassure the people of the northeastern Community that they are safe and welcomed in Karnataka”, the government said in an advertisement, signed by Chief Minister Jagadish Shettar and Home Minister R Ashoka, published in newspapers today.
The government said no violent incidents have been reported. “We thereby urge not to heed to rumours and rest assured that stringent security measures have been deployed to prevent any untoward incidents”.
Strict action would be taken against anyone spreading rumours. “We also request the northeastern media not to go by unconfirmed reports which can create further fear and confusion,” the ministers said.