Asserting that there was no violence in the State, the Karnataka Government today appealed to people from the North-East who had 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 people of the North-East has ended and there was no violence in any part of the State or the city. This should itself reassure these people about their safety and they should return to their work,” the State’s Deputy Chief Minister and Home Minister R. Ashoka told presspersons here.

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

As part of reaching out to North-Easterners and reassuring them of their safety, Ashoka said he planned to visit the North-Eastern States to meet those who had fled the city and seek their return.

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

Ashoka said of the 3.5 lakh people from the North-East who were living in parts of Karnataka and in Bangalore, only 25,000 had returned to their home-towns; the remaining were living there.

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

Meanwhile, a delegation led by the 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 lived in the State.

The exodus of the people of the North-East started on August 15 triggered by rumours of reprisals over the Assam violence and continued for about four days with up to 30,000 people fleeing the country’s IT capital.

(This article was published on August 21, 2012)
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