Guwahati, Aug 18 (IBNS): Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi on Saturday urged the people from Northeast (NE) region to return as they continued to flee from different cities of India to Guwahati.
Large number of people escaped from different Indian cities as fear psychosis over a possible backlash on them over the Assam riots gripped them.
''I am telling everyone who is coming back to return. The government of Karnataka has assured full protection. I want all of them to go back as soon as possible," Gogoi told NDTV.
"We will arrange for special trains from here to southern states whenever they want," he said.
Gogoi's made the appeal on a day when thousands of young professionals and students working or studying in various Indian cities like Bangalore, Hyderabad and Pune arrived in Guwahati on Saturday morning in packed trains.
Those arriving from various Indian cities on special trains said rumours of possible attacks on them apart, many of them had been threatened in person.
While some of them were too scared to go back, many said they would have to return after things cooled down.
Five people were arrested on Friday in Bangalore for allegedly spreading rumours with the intention of creating panic amongst people from the north-eastern states in the wake of ethno-communal violence in Assam.
Karnataka Chief Minister Jagadish Shettar warned again that the police are still looking for those who are trying to disturb the peace by deliberately misreporting facts.
Thousands residing in Pune, Hyderabad and Bangalore, have begun heading back to their home states.
According to reports, the panic erupted in the past couple of days leading to mass exodus after SMSes and chain mails warning people from Northeast region started doing rounds.
The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) on Friday banned bulk Short Message Service (SMS) and Multimedia Messaging Service (MMS) across the country for 15 days in the wake of mass exodus of people belonging to Northeast region of the country from different cities following rumours.
A cellphone user can send a message to not more than five persons for the next 15 days.
Cutting across party lines, lawmakers in Indian parliament on Friday assured the people of Northeast that they would make best efforts to protect them anywhere in the country.
"The parliament stands united in protecting you" went the message from Prime Minister to Opposition leader Sushma Swaraj.
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said the country belongs to the people of Northeast as much as anybody else and assured them of all safety in the wake of the Assam situation that triggered an exodus of the region's people settled in other parts of India.
"This country belongs to them as to any one of us," the PM told Parliament amid reports of mass exodus from cities like Bangalore where the Northeast students and professionals stay in large number for work and studies.
Leader of Opposition in Lok Sabha (BJP) Sushma Swaraj raised the issue and demanded security of the people.
"Make helplines and give them numbers. Post police near malls. We should tell the people of Northeast that you are our brother and sister and we will protect you. You would not go anywhere, this is your country," said Swaraj.
Swaraj urged the people of Northeast to not leave cities of their work and in an impassioned appeal said the country "stands by them."
At least 78 people were killed in the Assam violence between Bodos and Muslim settlers since July and countless were rendered homeless and sheltered in relief camps.