Shillong: The North East Congress Coordination Committee (NECCC) today demanded that the Centre take appropriate action to prevent mass exodus of NE students from southern states and Maharashtra as it would reinforce the confidence of the NE people.
In a letter to Union Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde, NECCC chairman D D Lapang said, "Discriminatory attacks such as this are bound to affect the mindset and performance of NE students and youths both in their career and education."
This could also lead to `serious repercussions` elsewhere, the letter said, adding, "Action from the Centre will reinforce the confidence of the NE people."
While dispelling the cause of the exodus due to `rumours`, Lapang said, "There cannot be smoke without fire."
"It is not right to blame rumours behind such a mass movement of our students and professionals when the police have arrested some people who are involved in certain racial profiling in Pune," he said.
The Congress chief in Meghalaya also said it was not easy to say who were behind the attack and with what motive but the incident "caused discontentment and seriously affected the sentiments of the people here (in the North east)."
In another letter to UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi, Lapang said the Minister heading the Ministry for Development of North East Region (DoNER) be upgraded to cabinet rank from the minister of state with independent charge status.
As a minister of state, "his status makes him incompatible with protocol when he seeks to chair meetings attended by Governors and Chief Ministers of the NE states," Lapang said in the letter.
DoNER was created in 2001 to address the issues concerning the welfare of eight NE states.