Live: Karnataka DGP says no violence reported, probing SMS’

by Aug 16, 2012

6:15 pm: The DGP said that not all the people who have left the state had left due to fear.

He said the Chief Minister had also assured members of the north east community and said that there was no violence targeting the community.

6:05 pm: The DGP of Karnataka police says they are on the lookout for the persons who have spread the messages with rumours of violence.

"We have taken various steps to dispel the fear from the minds of students. The rumours are false and everyone is safe in the city," L Pachau told CNN IBN.

He said there are no reports of violence in the state at all in which persons from north east states were being targetted.

"We can assure everyone that police is giving them protection and we are increasing the patrolling. We are going to have mohalla committees and speaking to local leaders," Pachau said.

5:30 pm: Firstpost's Pallavi Polanki speaks to heads of groups representing citizens from the north eastern states and learns that while they are closely watching the developments in other states, they aren't too worried or leaving for home just yet. (Read here)

5:20 pm: And here's another case of people seeking to spread the message of peace in the city of Bangalore. A group is attempting to get mosque authorities to make an announcement after prayers on Friday appealing for peace. A good cause to support if there ever was one.

twitter.com/seekingxanadu/status/236065121653387264

4:50 pm: People from Assam states are still concerned about potential clashes despite there being no reports of violence. Here's what noted Professor of International Studies and Social Sciences at Brown University, Ashutosh Varshney had to say on Twitter:

4:35 pm: A resident of Bangalore has described the scene at the city's station where people are reportedly still making a beeline to return to their home states in the north east.

Another has put up a picture of a Students group at the station attempting to convince people not to flee the city based on rumours.

4:05 pm: The CPI(M) has also issued a statement about people fleeing Bangalore and said all attempts to rouse feelings in other parts of the country over it should be firmly curbed.

"Immediate steps should be taken to assure the people of Northeastern origin of their safety and security wherever they are residing. The state governments and administration should take prompt measures for this," the CPI(M) Politburo said in a statement.

It said the recent violence in the Bodoland territorial region in Assam "has localised reasons and any attempts to rouse feelings in other parts of the country should be firmly curbed." PTI

3:50 pm: Meanwhile in Assam, the All Assam Students Union today has blamed prominent minority leader and president of the All India United Democratic Front Badaruddin Ajmal responsible for spreading fear among students and persons of the Northeast in other states.

"There is a fear psychosis among students in the states of Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh and Maharashtra as a direct result of the communal politics played by Ajmal," AASU advisor Samujjal Bhattacharjee told reporters in Guwahati.

The student body warned Ajmal "not to give communal colour to the violence in Assam" and appealed to the students not to panic and refrain from rushing back.

He said at least three overcrowded trains would be reaching here from Bangalore tomorrow and that thousands of panic-stricken people were stranded in various stations of those states including Secunderabad. PTI

3:30 pm: PTI reports though the Bangalore-Guwahati Express leaves around midnight, many have reached the station since early this morning considering it to be a safe haven than their temporary homes.

Karnataka Law Minister Suresh Kumar is at the station attempting to allay the fears of the people.

Kumar urged the people not to leave the city as no incident of attack on the community had taken place.

"There has been no incidents of attack on North East people. There has been no single complaint filed in this regard," he said.

However, not all are convinced by the state government's assurances.

"We are in a state of panic after rumours that our community will be attacked. It is better to come to railway station than live in the city. I feel relaxed and safe at the railway station," Disen, who arrived at the station at 5 AM, told PTI.

Ironically, Disen with his three other friends is travelling to Kokrajhar, the district that has been the epicentre of violence in the state. PTI

3:10 pm:  BJP president Nitin Gadkari has blamed illegal migrants living in Assam and other parts of the country for the attacks on people from the North East and the recent violence at Mumbai's Azad Maidan.

"The attacks in some parts of the country on people from the North East is unfortunate... These are being perpetrated
by illegal migrants living in the country. There is a foreign hand in this. The Centre should deal firmly with such incidents," Gadkari told PTI.

"The problem in Assam is not religious or communal but that of the Indian versus the outsider. Anti-national people
are involved in this violence. Similarly, in Mumbai the crowd had waived Pakistani flag and made provocative remarks. They also vandalised the martyrs' memorial," Gadkari said.

Gadkari said he has directed Karnataka Chief Minister Jagadish Shettar as well as CMs of other BJP ruled states to
ensure that no harm is done to people from the North East residing in their states. PTI

3:00 pm:  Congress MPs from northeastern states today met party chief Sonia Gandhi and apprised her of the situation arising out of the reports of exodus of people of the region from Bangalore and some other cities.

The Parliamentarians, including Union Minister of State for Development of Northeast Paban Singh Ghatowar, conveyed to the UPA Chairperson that panic gripped Northeast origin people living in some cities following rumours about possible attacks on them and urged her to ensure safety and security of the people from the region.

"She told us that peace must be restored and we Indians must live together," Ghatowar told PTI.

2:30 pm: According to reports, leaders of groups representing the Muslim community will be meeting the Bangalore district collector at 4 pm. A solidarity march is reportedly to be held at 5 pm near MG statue in Bangalore.

Also in a heartening sign, there are reportedly students with placards appealing people not to leave Bangalore in fear.

1:45 pm: There's now talk of a peace rally that would have members from the members of the Muslim community and residents of the city which will be held in Bangalore on 20 August.

Tehelka tweeted that a joint rally will be held in Bangalore on the occasion of Eid:

Definitely something that might help calm the frayed nerves in the city presently.

1:00 pm:Assam Chief Minister said he has spoken with the Karnataka Chief Minister about the alleged threats to students and other residents who hailed from Assam.

"I have spoken to Karnataka Chief Minister; there is no threat to anyone," Gogoi told reporters in Guwahati today.

Agatha Sangma, MP from Meghalaya has also said that the police and individual state governments should take action to ensure that nobody from the north eastern states were targetted.

CNN IBN's Sagarika Ghose has tweeted that politicians need to present a united front against such threats.

12:40 pm: Members of the North East Students Association met Karnataka Chief Minister where they were assured that they faced no threat in Bangalore.

"Panic is justified in a small way because people have been getting messages saying that members of the community are being attacked," a student told CNN IBN.

"Rumours are more than what has happened. People have started messaging each other about these rumours," she said.

12:10 pm: Here's what BJP leader Sushma Swaraj was speaking about when she said that hundreds had fled from Hyderabad to their homes in north eastern states.

The New Indian Express reported that over 1,000 persons from Assam, consisting mainly of Bodo tribals who were working as security guards in the city have fled over fears they could be targetted over the violence in their home state.

The city police commissioner had said that there were no reports of violence against Assamese in the city but they were verifying reports that members from the region had been receiving threats.

12:00 pm:Law minister Salman Khurshid said that the Home Ministry is taking steps to ensure that panic doesn't spread across the nation.

"I believe that it is also the responsibility of the central government," Khurshid said.

"If someone wants to create trouble then it is wrong,  I am sure that there will be no reason to be apprehensive," he said.

11:50 pm: Sushma Swaraj has said that their party will do everything possible to defend students and others from the north east who have been receiving threatening messages saying they would be targetted for the violence in Assam.

"We will take up the issue in Parliament tomorrow," the BJP leader said.

She also criticised a Member of Parliament for making statements indicating that Muslim youth could be radicalised due to the violence in Assam.

"Students from Assam are being frightened away and getting messages telling them to leave for home or face violence," she said.

The student wing of the BJP would ensure the security of students on college campuses and party leaders would work to ensure that people from the north east did not face any threat in any part of the country, she said.

The BJP leader also questioned why the Prime Minister had not spoken to the Chief Ministers of Hyderabad and Maharashtra over reports that people from the north eastern states living there had been attacked.

11:15 am: The BJP and Congress has begun trading charges over the rumours of violence which had caused thousands to migrate back to the north east.

"There is fear amongst the people from the north-east though there has not been any incident. This is a sad situation. The state govt has taken steps to ensure people of their safety. The deputy CM has gone to the police station. The CM has appealed people from the north-east not to leave," BJP President Nitin Gadkari said.

"The central government should take strong steps to stop this," he said.

Meanwhile the Congress' Rajiv Shukla attempted to deflect the criticism and said it was the safety of the people in Karnataka full responsibility of the state government.

"The Karnataka state government should take steps to reassure people and provide security," he said.

11:00 am : Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde said that there are no reports of attack on people from northeast in Karnataka and it is only rumours being spread.

"We have spoken to the authorities in Bangalore, there are no attacks happening. We have provided extra trains to deal with the crowds. The government has taken steps on the issue and we will investigate and take strict action against people spreading rumours," Shinde said.

10:15 am: The Bangalore police has said that if anyone has received threats over the violence in the North East, they can call in on a number to register a complaint with the police.

PTI has quoted Union Home Secretary RK Singh as saying, "There is no threat to the people of the north east in any part of the country."

10:00 am : A report from ANI says that the Union Home Secretary has reportedly been in touch with the Chief Minister of Karnataka and confirmed that there had been no incidents of violence reported in the state.

The Karnataka police has instructed all mobile telephony service providers to stop sending group text messages to prevent the spread of rumours.

"We have instructed service providers to stop such group messages from being spread," Victor D'souza of the Bangalore police told CNN IBN.

"All the police were on night patrol. We have spoken to the people and assured them of protection. So far we have not received any complaint at any police station. Nothing is happening in Bangalore," he said .

Home Minister R Ashok is meeting with senior police officials of the city later today to assess the situtaion.

9:30 am : Over 5,000 people, mainly those who originally hail from Assam, are estimated to have left Bangalore in a day after rumours that they could be targets of attacks due to the violence between Bodo and Muslim groups in their home state.

The Prime Minister and Home Minister spoke with Karntaka Chief Minister Jagdish Shettar last night and asked him to ensure the safety of the residents.

Shettar told PTI that he told the Prime Minister and the Home Minister that "there is no untoward incident nor is there any threat to people of northeastern states. I promised that necessary steps would be taken to give protection to these people".

Thousands fled the city after rumours of violence. Screen grab from CNN-IBN

People started flooding into Bangalore City Railway station to board the available trains after rumours spread that some people from the state had been the targets of attacks in the city.Denials by the police failed to dissuade the people from leaving.

Police officials also attempted to use the public address system at the railway station to reassure the
people gathered there of their safety. Home Minister R Ashoka and DGP L Pachau also rushed to the station to reassure the people.

"Nobody can touch you. The government will give protection. You need not have any fear or apprehension," State Home Minister R Ashoka promised them.

"Someone has triggered rumours. An investigation has been ordered and those found guilty will be punished," DGP L Pachau said.

The number of passengers wanting to leave Bangalore was so high that the South Western Railways had to run a special train to cater to the rush of people.

However, there was a report of a Tibetan student being stabbed by two persons in Mysore after he was suspected to be from the North East.

politics trump card game

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