Special train from Guwahati brings several northeastern Indians to the city

At around 4.30 a.m. on Tuesday, the special train from Guwahati brought in hundreds of northeastern Indians, over a fortnight after thousands fled the city following widespread panic and fear among the community.

According to police estimates, around 1,000 people arrived this morning. DIG Police Railways B. Srikantappa, who was at the City Railway Station to “welcome them back” told The Hindu, “Around a thousand people came in the special train.”

He also pointed out that there are three trains weekly and close to 6,000 people have come to the city in the regular trains over the past week.

He said the passengers consisted of both working professionals as well as students. However, railway authorities are unsure if all the people who arrived are the ones who fled the city during the exodus that took place in the city about a fortnight ago.

N. Ramesh, Senior Divisional Commercial Manager, Bangalore Division, said: “Train No. 02509 Bangalore City–Guwahati Special in the return direction left on Tuesday morning. It had 520 berths occupied and 632 berths were vacant.” He said: “45 per cent of the sleeper berths were filled and 87 per cent of general berths was full.”

Directive on attendance

Speaking to reporters at a KSRTC function here on Tuesday, Home Minister R. Ashok said that the students who had gone to their home States need not worry about their attendance as the government has directed colleges to give them attendance. Several leading colleges had reportedly refused to condone attendance shortage to students who chose to leave. A substantial number of the northeast Indian population here comprises students.

In spite of several people from northeast India returning in large numbers, Tiken Tayenjam, president, Bangalore Manipuri Student’s Association, is flooded with calls from his friends from hometown.

He said, “Right now situation is getting normal and I am assuring people but ultimately it is their decision to return.”

Longjam Tony, a student of M.S. Ramaiah College, said that people from his community who are still in their respective hometowns would take some time to return. He said, “Right now the situation is calm but people need some time to regain their lost faith.”

He said the people who have returned do not have any fear and are returning to their college and workplace.

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