Nearly 500, including students, who had fled came by train on Wednesday
As widely written about was their departure from the city, the news of students from the northeast returning to Bangalore appears to have escaped everyone’s notice.
Nearly 500 people, who fled the city earlier this month, came back by train on Wednesday, adding to the substantial numbers, particularly students, who have returned over the last two to three days. Activists belonging to Sangama, a group working for sexuality minorities, welcomed them at the City Railway Station.
The activists counselled them and gave them visiting cards with phone numbers to call in case of an emergency. Manohar Elavarthy from Sangama said: “We have been going daily to the railway station for the last week in the hope that somebody would return. Today, we were least expecting such a large crowd.”
New exam dates
The Rajiv Gandhi University of Health Sciences (RGUHS), which had postponed the undergraduate examinations, announced new dates, taking into account the steady stream of returning students.
Wangchu, member of the Buddhist Students’ Association, told The Hindu five of his friends had gone home. “One girl, who is from Bhutan, has already returned. The other four boys are on their way.”
Faculty members said most students who went home had done so under immense family pressure. Thangjam Ravichandra Singh, faculty member at the Indian Academy, said all five students who had gone home had returned. “Things are back to normal and the academic calendar is intact,” he said.
Vanaja Malathy, public administration officer of Jyothi Nivas College, which had declared 10 days’ leave for northeast students, said they were gradually returning. She was getting several calls about the situation in Bangalore.
A lecturer from the St. Josephs College of Arts and Science said several students were attending classes over the past two or three days. Some regret having gone as they had panicked unnecessarily. “Students have missed classes for 10 days and they will have to work hard to catch up.”
Viko Mere, member of the North East Students Forum, said: “We have passed on the message that the situation is normal and better than before.”
Not over yet
Toklen Dupak, a student, said 10 of his friends returned on Wednesday for their midterm exams. He said they would pressure the government to find the root cause of the rumours.
Jessi Gurung and Kunzangla Bhutia went back to Sikkim after frantic calls from home. They returned because they didn’t want to miss out on attendance in college. Though they said they felt pretty safe, their parents continued to be worried, calling several times a day.
Ms. Gurung said: “My parents have asked me to go to college and return to my PG [right away]. They have also asked me not to travel alone.”