A peace meeting convened by the Bangalore police on Thursday, in the light of people from the northeast leaving the city in large numbers, had the Muslim leaders assuring all-out efforts to maintain communal harmony.
Speaking at the meeting, attended by people from the northeast, Muslim leaders appealed to them to not lend credence to rumours spread through SMSs and word of mouth.
One of the Muslim leaders read out an SMS — said to have originated from a group called Bhagat Singh Kranti Sena — which was spooking the northeast communities asking them to be careful since there was a threat to their safety. Rumours about a fatwa by an ulema were unfounded, they said.
A representative of the Students Islamic Organisation of India complained that the police ejected them from the railway station on Wednesday night when they had only turned up to show their support for the people who were fleeing. Commissioner of Police B.G. Jyothi Prakash Mirji said small groups acting as peace messengers would be active in different areas to help calm matters.
Director-General and Inspector-General of Police Lalrokhuma Pachau warned of tough action against those violating human rights.
Assistant Commissioner of Police, Law and Order, P. Suneel Kumar said the cyber cell had been asked to investigate messages being propagated through social media.
Appeals to maintain communal harmony are being made in several mosques in the city, including the Khadria Mosque in Benson Town and Jamia Mosque in K.R. Market.
MLA N.A. Haris said there would be further appeals, especially during the Friday prayers which were expected to see a huge turnout.
Trustee of Rainbow Forum Feroze Abdullah said Muslim organisations would issue advertisements in Urdu newspapers stating that Muslims were not against Buddhists or any other community.
The Social Democratic Party of India (SDPI), which recently took out a march condemning violence against Muslims in Assam, also said there was no threat to any people from the northeast. State general secretary Afsar Pasha said: “There is a good atmosphere in Bangalore where people from all corners of India and following various faiths coexist. It appears to me that there is a conspiracy to spoil it. This is an unfortunate development in this holy month of Ramzan.”
Convener of Karnataka Muslim Muttahida Mahaaz (Karnataka United Muslim Front) Masood Abdul Qadir observed: “Desperate attempts are being made to tarnish the image of the Muslim community by mischief-mongers. I appeal to the government to investigate and get to the root of the problem. All the mosques in the city are making appeals to local Muslims to inform the police immediately if they hear anything regarding any violence against people from the northeast.”