Mass exodus of northeasterners continues in Mumbai
Mumbai, Aug 17 (ANI): The exodus of people hailing from the northeast continued here on Friday, as fear of a possible backlash over violence against Muslims in Assam and neighbouring Myanmar intensified.
Over the weekend, two people were killed and 55 wounded when about 10,000 people rioted in Mumbai after Muslims held a protest against violence involving members of their religion.
One of the natives from northeast here said that the Muslims were threatening their community of dire consequences, whipping up fear psychosis.
"When we go out at night, then the Muslims threaten us by saying that they will cut us into pieces. They say that you people are threatening us in Assam and killing us there, we will not spare you here. So, we are scared," said Raju Kumar, a local from northeast.
Another local said that students in several parts of the country were being targeted, which is why they preferred to flee the city.
"First they beat up the students in Pune, about 10 students were beaten in Pune and now students are being targeted in Hyderabad and Bangalore. They are beating everyone, students as well as workers, and forcing them to flee. The police has not said anything to us. As of now they (the miscreants) have not done anything to us," said Sanju, a local from northeast.
Some of them are returning to their respective hometowns in the northeast as their parents expressed concern over their safety.
"We are fleeing Mumbai, because our parents are worried. We are also leaving, because everyone is scared," said Aashish, another local from northeast.
Railway authorities laid on two extra trains on Wednesday night to take about 7,000 people on the two-day journey to Assam.
Assam's Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi said rumours were spreading "like wildfire" over social media and mobile telephone text messages.
Analysts have accused political parties and religious organisations of exploiting ethnic tension for their ends.
Muslims across India have been alarmed by clashes in recent weeks between indigenous people in Assam and Muslim settlers from Bangladesh.
About 75 people have been killed and more than 400,000 displaced.
Rumours of revenge attacks by angry Muslims have been swirling, many carried on social media. Adding to the climate of fear was a knife attack on a Tibetan student in a town near Bangalore, although the circumstances were not clear. (ANI)
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