“It all started with reports in a few newspapers and TV channels based in Assam. One such report said the Assamese in Hyderabad were given a deadline of August 20 to leave the city,” said Subhash Dutta, Assam Youth Welfare Association chairman, at a meeting called by the police here to clear the apprehensions of students and security guards from Assam at the National Academy of Construction (NAC) on Thursday.

“Did any one of you receive any threat [sic] phone call or was anyone intimidated?” asked T. Yoganand, Deputy Commissioner of Police of Madhapur zone, at the meeting.

No affirmative answers were received.

Mr. Dutta, who came to Hyderabad on learning about the flight, felt that family concerns led to the rush for home.

An isolated incident of three unidentified persons beating up a person from Assam and snatching away his mobile phone in Raidurg police station area was reported four days ago. No other such attack was reported from anywhere else.

The incident, however, led to a flurry of phone calls from family members to the Assamese working here enquiring about their safety. While news about the Raidurg incident spread like wildfire, rumour mills worked overtime circulating false stories that the Assamese were being attacked.

The rumours had an immediate impact on guards working mostly in Siddiquinagar of Madhapur and Anjaiahnagar of Raidurg where IT firms are located. Nearly 800 guards left these places, Mr. Yoganand revealed.

Police intensify patrols

Not willing to take any chances, the police have deployed pickets and intensified patrolling in localities where the Assamese live. Hyderabad MP and MIM President Asaduddin Owaisi also visited the areas and assured Assamese residents that they faced no threat.

Apparently, not the entire community is affected. “I travelled from Guntur to Hyderabad all through the night along with seven students from the North-Eastern States and stopped at roadside hotels. We didn’t face any trouble,” Mr. Dutta said.

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