Members of Parliament, cutting across party lines, on Friday sent out a strong and loud message to the northeast people that the whole country was for them and with them and that they need not have any apprehension about their safety. Like any other citizen, they have every right to study, work and reside in any part of India.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh intervened in both the Lok Sabha and the Rajya Sabha when the Houses took up for discussion, by suspending question hour, attacks on the northeast people and their exodus. He said the growing sense of insecurity among the northeast people was “more reprehensible.”

Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde said he had directed intelligence personnel to trace the source of rumours and false information being spread against the northeast population through SMSs and websites such as YouTube and facebook. Union Home Secretary R.K. Singh said that to check rumours, bulk SMSs and MMSs have been banned for 15 days with immediate effect. No one would be allowed to send more than 5 SMSs at a time and more than 20 KB of data through mobile phones. During his intervention in the Lok Sabha, Dr. Singh, a Rajya Sabha member from Assam, said the northeast was a very sensitive region and whatever might have happened in Kokrajhar and other areas should not be used as an occasion to fan rumours. Communal harmony and unity and integrity were at stake and everyone should work to create an atmosphere to end rumour-mongering.

Raising the issue in the Lok Sabha, Leader of the Opposition Sushma Swaraj urged the government to set up helplines to assist the northeast people to air their grievances, and increase police patrolling to instil a sense of confidence among them.

In the Rajya Sabha, Leader of the Opposition Arun Jaitley said a fear psychosis was being created among the northeast people and steps should be taken to end rumour-mongering.

RELATED NEWS

Exodus from Chennai continues August 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

Northeasterners exodus: 4 held in Pune over SMS scare August 22, 2012

SMS limit hiked to 20 a dayAugust 23, 2012

Normality restored in south, safe to return: GadkariAugust 25, 2012

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

Exodus continues August 18, 2012

Northeast people in Hyderabad assured of safetyAugust 18, 2012

Ban on bulk SMS liftedAugust 30, 2012

Karnataka says there is no need to panic August 17, 2012

Don’t be swayed by rumours, appeals Assam all-party meeting August 18, 2012

Mob goes berserk in Lucknow, targets media August 18, 2012

Curfew in Allahabad area August 18, 2012

Lok Sabha speaks in one voice to support northeast people August 17, 2012

Stung government on damage control modeAugust 17, 2012

Opposition criticises governmentAugust 17, 2012

City was good to us, say fleeing migrantsAugust 17, 2012

Please come backAugust 18, 2012

Strangers in a place they call homeAugust 18, 2012

5,000 youths arrive in Guwahati from southAugust 18, 2012

More In: National | News