Over 30,000 North-East people flee Bangalore
Bangalore: The exodus of North-East people from Bangalore continued even as Karnataka Police arrested five people for spreading rumours of an impending attack against them.
Chief Minister Jagadish Shettar said the police are hunting for four more persons.
So far, over 30,000 people from the North-East are reported to have left the Karnataka capital since August 15.
In Bangalore, Deputy Chief Minister R Ashoka, who holds the Home portfolio, said three persons were arrested on Friday for assaulting three people from Manipur.
Shettar, who is in New Delhi to attend today’s BJP chief ministers' meeting, told reporters: "Five people have been arrested and four more have been identified (for rumour mongering). They too will be arrested soon," he said.
Late Friday Shettar met Union Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde and briefed about the steps to taken to instil confidence among the North-East people in Bangalore and other parts of the state.
Bangalore is home to around 240,000 people from the North-East while another 100,000 are in other parts of the state. While several thousand among 340,000 people are students, most of the others work in hotels, beauty parlours and as security guards.
In a bid to arrest the exodus from Karnataka, two Assam ministers' Nilamani Sen Deka and Chandra Brahma flew from Guwahati to Bangalore on Friday afternoon and talked to the hundreds of North-East people waiting to leave. Their efforts failed to convince the people.
Though majority of those leaving said that they were rushing home for a break due to week-long holidays, some of them confirmed that they were going back in response to summons from worried parents and relatives, following rumours that they would be attacked after Ramadan in retaliation to the recent violence in Assam.
CM Shettar has already ordered an inquiry into the rumour-mongering that triggered exodus since late Wednesday.
Security has been beefed up in sensitive areas across the city and patrolling intensified in localities populated by North-East people.
As part of the investigation, cyber sleuths attached to the city Crime Branch have started cracking at the sensational messages sent through SMS and MMS, e-mails and postings on social media sites like Facebook and Twitter that caused panic and fear among the North-East people.
(With IANS inputs)