The exodus of citizens belonging to the Northeast continued unabated, for the second day, from Bangalore.

The situation got so bad that railway counters stopped issuing tickets at 7.15 p.m. on Thursday since they could not accommodate any more passengers. On Wednesday night, 6,900 passengers headed home in two special trains and the Guwahati Express. Depending on the demand, two more special trains are likely to be run on Friday. Thanks to the rumours (about natives of the Northeast being under threat), security firms, BPOs, restaurants and hotels, beauty parlours, colleges and schools, where they can be found in substantial numbers, wore a deserted look on Thursday. This, despite assurances from the Karnataka government, police, concerned citizens and representatives of Muslims, that they need not be scared.

 But at the same time, anonymous cellphone messages spreading rumours of killings and rape of Northeast natives, or containing warnings of dire consequence for those staying beyond August 20, continued to circulate through the day. The State government and the police went on the damage-control mode, announcing confidence-building measures. Chief Minister Jagadish Shettar, after chairing a meeting of top officials and representatives of the Northeastern community, announced setting up of a 24-hour helpline. “Karnataka is the safest place for you to live in the country,” Mr. Shettar said, pointing out that no major incident of violence against the people from the Northeast had been reported in the State so far.

 But Neelasandra, Adugodi and Suduguntapalya in southeast Bangalore, where the threat perceptions were high, wore a deserted look. Police were seen patrolling the streets. These lower-income and thickly-populated areas are home to large numbers of working class Muslims and natives of the Northeast. Director General and Inspector General of Police Lalrokhuma Pachau also chaired a peace meeting in which Muslim leaders and representatives of people from the Northeast attended.

RELATED NEWS

Exodus hits security, hospitality sectors August 17, 2012

Don’t flee, Muslim leaders sayAugust 17, 2012

Eight held in Bangalore; over 10,000 leave cityAugust 17, 2012

Please come backAugust 18, 2012

Exodus continues August 18, 2012

9 cases of assault, intimidation registered, 8 heldAugust 18, 2012

‘SMSs came from outside State’August 18, 2012

Colleges told to conduct special classes, postpone examsAugust 18, 2012

Assam Ministers arrive in cityAugust 18, 2012

Exodus hits private security agencies tooAugust 18, 2012

Governor: there is lack of communicationAugust 18, 2012

Panic-stricken students leave collegesAugust 18, 2012

Bangalore rallies behind its northeast residentsAugust 19, 2012

Tight security in placeAugust 20, 2012

Minister on midnight rounds to allay fearsAugust 20, 2012

Stung government on damage control modeAugust 17, 2012

Opposition criticises governmentAugust 17, 2012

Nerves stretched, all set to go homeAugust 17, 2012

Jumpy students fall for rumoursAugust 17, 2012

IT, security firms reach out to Northeast people September 3, 2012

‘Third-party involvement cannot be ruled out’August 17, 2012

After Bangalore, Chennai too sees exodusAugust 16, 2012

After rumours, northeast people flee Bangalore August 16, 2012

No threat to northeast people: Home SecretaryAugust 16, 2012

9 held for targeting N-E studentsAugust 14, 2012

‘Our families are calling us back’ August 16, 2012

Let's work together to stop exodus, says PMAugust 16, 2012

Special trains from BangaloreAugust 17, 2012

Rumours, false reports spook Assamese in Andhra PradeshAugust 17, 2012

Don’t panic, says Gogoi; 9 injured in fresh violence August 16, 2012

Mischief potential of social media in full play August 17, 2012

More In: Karnataka | National