Bangalore/Chennai: The panic exodus of northeast people from Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and Maharashtra abated today and no special trains were operated to Guwahati but security personnel kept a tight vigil with the Eid festival also falling tomorrow.
With no unusual rush being witnessed at Bangalore from where 30,000 Northeasterners had left, Home Minister R Asoka, who a met a three-member Nagaland delegation, told them the exodus had stopped after government assured them safety. The team comprised two ministers and the IGP.
"Everything is calm. There is no need to panic," Asoka told reporters after the meeting.
"We have arrested 16 persons in the city during last three days for intimidating or sending disturbing SMSs to the north east population. The situation is under control", he said.
Additional Director General of Police Bhaskar Rao said "since yesterday, no special trains are plying to Guwahati. The exodus has stopped."
The flight of people from the northeast was sparked by rumours and SMSs early this week that they will be attacked in the wake of the Assam violence.
In Chennai, the exit of Northeasterners from the city dwindled with only a few hundred seen at the main central railway station.
Police said the number of those leaving, which was around 2,000 every day, had dropped to less than 1,000 on Sunday.
A relative decline was observed in Pune since last night in the number of people from northeast heading for their home states, official sources said in Pune.
Although many continued to board the `Azad Hind Express` that goes to Howrah, the number of students and workers from Assam and Manipur rushing to railway station out of panic was gradually decreasing, a railway official said.
In Mumbai too, no unusual rush was witnessed on the trains heading for West Bengal and north east, Central Railway sources said.
In Bangalore, police beefed up security, deploying 17,000 personnel as government put its security machinery in top gear to instil a sense of confidence among the Northeasterners and also keeping in mind the Eid festival.
Three companies each of CRPF and RAF, 25 KSRP (Karnataka State Reserve Police) platoons and 35 City Armed Reserve platoons, 1,500 trainee policemen and 500 Home Guards are also being deployed here, Police Commissioner Jyothi Prakash Mirji told reporters in Bangalore.