Nagpur: In a humanitarian gesture, over 500 RSS activists rushed to the help of thousands of people from Assam and northeastern states returning home, when a train halted at Nagpur on Friday morning, an official said.
The RSS activists had come carrying around 2,500 food packets and water bottles which they distributed to the dazed Assamese on the jam-packed Azad Hind Express which arrived from Pune, en route to Kolkata and onwards to Guwahati.
RSS Nagpur secretary Mohan Agnihotri said that when the organisation learnt about the plight of the fleeing Assamese Thursday night, they decided to help.
"We organised around 2,500 food packets and water bottles to provide relief to the people. We were shocked to see the train packed with passengers from the northeast. It carried a passenger load at least twice its capacity," Agnihotri told IANS from the railway station.
He said that scared by rumour-mongering and threats, many have fled leaving behind their belongings, and without money or other resources to help them on their long journey back home.
"It is sad that our brethren from another part of India have to undergo such trauma. We have decided to distribute similar aid to more north-easterners who pass through Nagpur," Agnihotri said.
Besides RSS activists, members of the Bharatiya Janata Party and Vishwa Hindu Parishad also joined the relief effort at Nagpur on Friday.
Since Wednesday, nearly 5,000 people from Assam and other northeastern states have left Maharashtra to return to their home states.
Meanwhile, the union home ministry Friday banned bulk SMSes in Maharashtra, Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh in view of the scare among north-easterners living, working and studying in these states, a home department official told IANS.