Citizens' Issues
Peace eludes Pune post abortive bomb blasts; NE people attacked

Two of the 13 people arrested by police reportedly confessed that the MMS and SMS that depicted violent incidents in Myanmar and Assam turned them vengeful

 
Pune: The spectacle of fear-stricken residents from North East swarming Pune railway station in a desperate bid to head for their home states, has had a benumbing effect on the second capital of Maharashtra which is still coming to terms with what could have been a potentially catastrophic serial bomb explosions a few days back, reports PTI.
 
Despite stepped up efforts by authorities, social organisations and help groups to remove the fear stalking hundreds of students and workers from Assam and Manipur, rattled by beastly attacks in the last four days in Kondhwa, Hadapsar and Cantonment areas of the city, they continued to make a beeline towards the railway station.
 
Their only goal for the time being appeared to catch "Azad Hind Express" that leaves the city every evening for Howrah.
 
"We are returning as our parents are worried. I will come back but as of now I am leaving with nine of my friends from Imphal," said a female student at the railway station.
 
Police believe that doctored MMS and SMS were the main provocation behind the attacks since 12th August in which about 15 NE residents in certain localities were targeted. Two of the 13 persons arrested by police reportedly confessed that the MMS and SMS that depicted violent incidents in Myanmar and Assam turned them vengeful, sources said.
 
After approaching Facebook, YouTube and Google to remove some "objectionable links" and five videos in respect of the Assam violence, city police have now filed a complaint against "unknown persons" under the IT act, accusing them of exploiting the social networking sites to spread offensive false and intimidating messages.
 
According to City Police Commissioner Gulabrao Pol, who has circulated a message in the city guaranteeing safety of NE people asking them not to heed rumours, the situation had been totally under control after police swung into action to book the culprit. 
 
Pol, however, admitted that police had not been able to stop the people from leaving the city mainly due to the fear factor stemming from unfounded rumours and threats of a backlash.
 
Over 4,000 NE residents who, in addition to students comprise workers hired by security agencies and construction firms as well as those employed with Chinese food joints, have so far reportedly left the city in the last few days, with railway authorities arranging for extra bogies to accommodate a continuously swelling number of passengers.
 
At a meeting held in the city on Friday, representatives of various organisations from the city as well as local corporators and MLAs exhorted the NE population here to stay put and ignore rumours as the situation did not warrant an exodus triggered by pressing of the panic button.
 
Rozin Singh, an MLA from Mizoram who was one of the invitees at the meeting, also addressed by top police officers and district collector, said, "I appeal to all NE people in Pune not to leave the city as the situation is normal. Police have taken proper security measures to infuse confidence among people. There have been no fresh attacks in the city."
 
In addition to police helpline, some social organisations have floated their own helpline giving the numbers to the affected NE residents and providing them with food and medicine during their journey back home after failing to dissuade them from leaving the city.
 
A 24-hour-vigil is being maintained by police and para-military forces in Kondhwa and Cantonment localities of the city to prevent any untoward incident.
 

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Parliament stands unit, rallies behind people from northeast

The Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha sent a clear message that people of northeast had nothing to worry and everything will be done to make them feel safe

 
New Delhi: Standing united, a concerned Indian Parliament on Friday rallied behind people from northeast state after their exodus from some states with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh vowing to crack down on rumour mongers who have spread panic among them, reports PTI.
 
The Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha (Lower and Upper Houses) sent a clear message that people of northeast had nothing to worry and everything will be done to make them feel safe with Rajya Sabha adopting a resolution demanding a thorough probe into the spread of rumours of impending attacks against them in the wake of the Assam violence.
 
"We will do everything to provide them security," Singh said, warning of stern action against the rumour mongers behind the "most reprehensible" act of creating insecurity.
 
"We must curb all the elements which are out to create trouble on this sensitive issue," he said, adding a message has to be sent out to all those who want to disturb peace.
 
"We should send a clear message that we will do everything to provide security to people from northeast living in various parts of the country," he said, asserting they have "as much right" as anybody else to study and work in any part of the country.
 
As members in both Houses cut across party lines to voice concern at the panic created in states like Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra and Tamil Nadu, Rajya Sabha passed a resolution seeking investigation against those creating panic.
 
"The House expresses its serious concern at the feeling of persecution of our brothers and sisters of the North Eastern states, who are leaving various cities and returning to the North East.
 
"...The mischief mongers and anti-national elements behind the electronic campaign to create panic should be urgently investigated by the authorities," the resolution read out by Chairman Hamid Ansari said.
 
Raising the issue in the Lok Sabha, Leader of the Opposition and BJP leader Sushma Swaraj stressed on the need to rise above party lines and send a clear message that people from the northeast have the freedom to live, work and study wherever they wish in the country.
 
Both the Houses took up impromptu debate on the issue amid demands for suspension of Question Hour. While Question Hour was suspended in the Upper House, Kumar took up the issue without any suspension in the Lok Sabha.
 

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