They continue to flee from the city despite assurances from the administration on their safety
Thirty-two-year-old, Jameson, an assistant security officer at Banjara Hills, was desperate to go to his hometown in Assam so much that he boarded Guwahati Express at Secunderabad station on Sunday, at loss of pay.
“I am not going on a holiday. In fact, I was not given leave and that should give you an indication about the pressure I am facing following rumours about attacks on north-east people,” said Jameson, before boarding the train.
He was not alone. Desperation to return home was writ large on faces of many north-east people, including professionals and students at Secunderabad station.
The station teemed with people from north-east States as many descended right from the strike of dawn to board trains heading towards Guwahati, Howrah and other north-eastern States.
The fact that 85 per cent of seats in the four extra coaches, which were added to Guwahati Express is a testimony of passengers rush and their eagerness to go back. Even two extra coaches in East Coast Express registered 80 per cent occupancy.
Irrespective of police assurances and other claims by the government on safety, many continued their flight from the State capital. The security measures taken by the administration seems to have failed in instilling confidence among them.
“There is lot of uncertainty as to what happens after Ramzan. We do not want to take any chances,” says Sunil, a security officer working with a construction company at Miyapur.
Only a bright aspect is that many are willing to come back. “There is definitely nervousness. Its not that we have lost faith but there is tremendous pressure from our parents to come back. We would be back once things settle down here,” says Suraj, a native of Guwahati.
Meanwhile, voluntary organisations and others are continuing their efforts to convince north-east people to stay back. Holding placards and banners, members of Jan Seva Sangh, a voluntary organisation spoke to people at the station and appealed for shelving their trip.