Bangalore: Attributing the exodus of more than 30,000 people of Northeast origin following rumours to an intelligence failure, a panel of eminent citizens of the city made an effort to reach out to the Northeastern population by holding a discussion on methods to end the panic on Wednesday.
“What happened was a severe intelligence failure. Passing the buck on to the neighbouring country is not enough. It could have been detected and stopped very quickly. We have the technology to do it,” said R K Mishra, member of the Agenda for Bangalore Infrastructure and Development (ABIDe) Task Force.
“It is people like us who must go to places like Assam and reassure those who have left, not ministers. No one believes Ministers,” Mishra observed.
A panel of the eminent citizens of the city made an effort to reach out to the northeastern population.
‘Cops Need Free Hand’
The discussion also raised a lot of questions on the inability of the police to act on their own without directions from politicians. “Any problem can be controlled if an administrator and a policeman are allowed to work without external pressures. Our police today does not have the freedom to act as soon as the problem arises and hence cannot nip it in the bud. Law and Order is not the concern of an MLA or even the Home Minister, it is the duty of the police authorities,” said K Sreedhar Rao, Former Chief Secretary, Assam and Sikkim.
Additional Commissioner of Police (Law and Order) T Suneel Kumar was conspicuously absent even though he was listed as one of the panel members. Discussing the way forward, the general consensus seemed to be that there was a need for administrators and eminent citizens to visit the Northeastern states to build confidence amongst the public.
“A short-term solution would be to invite the DCs of the nine districts of Northeast which were worst affected by the exodus and spend a short deputation time in Karnataka. This would reassure the people who decide to return. Of course, I do not know how far this is possible,” suggested Vikas Kumar, a Professor at the Azim Premji University.
The speakers in the discussion also stressed on the need to restore the jobs to the NE people upon their return. “For this, it is necessary to engage members of the industry and take help from other citizens in order to ensure that none of the people who will return face troubles with jobs or houses,” said Ashwin Mahesh, a member of ABIDe.