Assures security to northeast migrants, sets up helpline, orders police patrols

Stung by the exodus of fear-struck migrants from the country’s northeast in the wake of rumours of attacks on them, the State government on Thursday scrambled into action to instil confidence among these communities, including providing police security and setting up a 24-hour helpline.

After chairing a high-level meeting of police officials and bureaucrats and representatives of associations of northeast communities with Home Minister R. Ashok, Chief Minister Jagadish Shettar appealed to the migrants not to leave Bangalore over security reasons.

He said: “Karnataka is the safest place for you to live in,” and pointed out that not even a single major incident of violence had been reported in the State so far.

A 24 x 7 helpline (080-22250999 and 22942222) had been set up, besides appointing a police official, V.S. D’ Souza, as nodal officer for them (Ph: 9480801020) for help during any crisis. “You just call these numbers and the police will be there at your doorsteps within five minutes,” Mr. Shettar said.

The police are patrolling Ejipura, Koramangala and Talaghattapura where people from the northeast have settled in large numbers.

Advising them to ignore rumours about attack plans, he appealed to them to call up their families and friends back in Assam and reassure them there were safe in Karnataka. “Karnataka’s DG-IGP Lalrokhuma Pachau himself hails from the northeast,” the Chief Minister said and added that the government was getting to the bottom of who was spreading the rumours.

Mr. Ashok said that the police would try to establish a system where other communities too play a key role to instil confidence among migrants from the northeast.

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