As panic gives away, people show willingness to return



Guwahati/Itanagar: As panic and fear, which prompted thousands of people from northeast to flee various parts of the country following "rumours" of backlash against Assam violence, subsides, many of them feel they could have stayed back and and are determined to return to their jobs.

Most of the people, who returned to their native states in the last few days, admit they face an uncertain future as employment opportunities are limited - the reason why they left their native states in the first place.

Ujjal Baruah, Rayi Kurmi, Deepak Barman, Prasanta Bhattachjarya and Rumi Borthakur are among an estimated 40,000 to 50,000 people who fled Bangalore alone and returned to their native towns in Assam.

"Once we reached here and looked back at the happenings of the past few days, we realise that there was nothing serious. Maybe we should have stayed back," said Borthakur.

This thought also played on the minds of those who returned to Arunachal Pradesh.

"We don’t know about our future. Perhaps we could have stayed back," lamented Techi Boje, a security guard of a private farm in Hyderabad, who reached Itanagar three days ago.

Most say they chose to flee as they did not want to "take any risk" though they themselves did not come across any kind of violence.

Minam Tondrang, first year student of Sridevi Engineering Institute at Bangalore who reached Itanagar this morning, said "There is no concrete proof of any attack on people from the Northeastas, but I don't want to take risk so I decided to leave Bangalore."

"I had decided not to move out of Bangalore but my parents forced me to come. Everything is calm in the city and there is no need to panic. But how can I convince my parents?" said Prince Zungrang Lingphi, another first year engineering student from Bangalore.

"On August 13, my roommate Sharmila Bora and I received a text message each from unidentified numbers. We were asked to leave because of what was happening in Assam," said Rumi Borthakur, who hails from Nagaon in central Assam.

She and her friend Bora both study in a private institute in Bangalore.

"Naturally, we were frightened and called our parents. There was no question of getting involved with the police. Our parents had only one advice for us -- to return. So we caught the first available train," said Borthakur.

PTI