Karnataka Home Minister to visit North East states



Bangalore: Asserting that there was no violence in the state, Karnataka Government on Tuesday appealed to people from North East who fled the city for their home-towns following rumours of attacks, to return and promised to ensure their protection.

"The deadline of August 20 set by rumour-mongers to create violence and attack North East people has ended and there was no violence in parts of the state or the city. This itself should reassure these people about their safety and they should return to their work", State's Deputy Chief Minister and Home Minister R Ashoka told reporters here.

The tight security cover deployed in the city, including deployment of Rapid Action Force, would continue for another week, he said.

As part of reaching out to Northeasterners and reassure their safety, Ashoka said he planned to visit NE states to meet those who had fled the city and seek their return.

"Leaders of Nagaland and Manipur have already invited me. If Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi invites me, I will visit that state too", he said.

Ashoka said of the 3.5 lakh population from North East states who were living in parts of Karnataka and in Bangalore, only 25,000 have returned to their home towns and the remaining are living here.

He said of the 20 arrested so far in connection with spreading rumours, five have been detained for sending SMS threats and more arrests are likely in the coming days.

Meanwhile, a delegation led by Central Tibetan Administration Home Minister Gyari Dolma called on Ashoka to thank the state government for giving protection to Tibetans living in parts of Karnataka. She said about 45,000 Tibetans are living in the state.

The exodus of NE people started on August 15 triggered by rumours of reprisals over Assam violence and continued for about four days with upto 30,000 people fleeing the country's IT capital.

PTI