On the day India celebrated 65 years of independence and freedom, at least 5,000 people from the north east, including students, have reportedly left Bangalore in two special trains fearing repercussions. Tensions have risen in recent months because of the continued communal violence in Assam, but today an officer appointed by the Karnataka police confirmed that the threat levels against those from the north-east has risen.
SMS messages were sent to hundreds of mobile phones confirming the threat, with some suggesting that people from north-east communities were asked to leave within 5 days. Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has asked the Karnataka government to ensure the safety of those people from the north east community following the threat.
Special trains to Guwahati were scheduled along with the normal timetabled trains, local sources said.
Police officers have assured all citizens that they will be protected but a mob-mentality is running through some parts of the southern city.
Officer D'Souza said that no complaints have been registered at any police station across the state, in an interview to the Hindustan Times, however this hasn't stopped many people fleeing the city in anticipation of an attack. "No complaint has been registered at any station, we have directed all our officers to be alert." Special train services were put in place and were full almost immediately. More trains may also be put in place on Thursday with many from the Naga, Manipuri and Assamese community fearing for their lives.
D'Souza also said that there is no police intelligence on any attacks. "People are fearing repercussions of the Assam violence. We have assured them all action will be taken."
Karnataka home minister R Ashok assured people of their safety. In the west of India, a doctored mms that was circulated in Mumbai also allegedly provoked violence against the North-Eastern community in nearby Pune. 12 people were attacked in the last seven days. 12 people have been arrested.