A man from India's north-east, injured while boarding a crowded train from the south, is carried by his friends upon arrival in Guwahati in the north-eastern Indian state of Assam
Assam chief minister Traun Gogoi issued an appeal to the North-East communities not to give into the daunting rumours and stay calm as the exodus in Indian cities continued into its fourth consecutive day on Saturday.
The chief minister has asked the people to soon go back to their southern states, where they work and study, as the centre and state governments have assured adequate measures to safeguard the interests of North-East people.
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Despite the tightening of security measures across states, the people have been fleeing from major cities like Hyderabad, Bangalore, Mumbai and Pune since August 15, following unverified rumours of impending attacks against their communities.
Gogoi also said that the Assam government would arrange for special trains for people to go back. "Our desire is that they go back. We will arrange for special trains from here to southern states whenever they want," the Assam chief minister told NDTV.
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A large number of people who boarded the trains on Wednesday reached Guwahati on Saturday. Although many people have claimed that they are taking trips to their home towns for a long-weekend, some have reportedly said that they would not head back to the southern cities of India over safety concerns.
Gogoi has claimed that he has been in touch with chief ministers of various states, who have assured him that the authorities have taken all the precautionary measures for the safety of the North-Eastern population in the cities.
However, nothing seemed to have worked with people flooding the city railway station to head back to their homes over fears of being attacked.
The communal tensions in different parts of the country were triggered by the Assam unrest, in which at least 80 were killed and 200,000 others were affected after Bodos and Muslim communities engaged in ethnic clashes.
Meanwhile, North-east people in other parts of the country are afraid of being vandalized in retaliatory attacks as a result of the Assam violence.
The police believe that some of the mischief makers are circulating doctored clips and texts, pertaining to Assam riots, across the communities in a bid to instigate attacks against the North-East people.
The Karnataka police have also arrested six people in connection with the spreading of rumours that intend to disturb communal harmony. Bangalore city is the worst-affected city, which has witnessed the exodus in a larger spectrum. Reports said that more than 30,000 people have left the city in last three days.
Besides Karnataka, North-East people are also fleeing from Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu and Maharashtra states.
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