New Delhi: 7:20 pm: Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has renewed appeal for peace over Northeast rumours, asking the state governments to restore trust and harmony.
Speaking to CNN-IBN, the Prime Minister asked the states to ensure that no one is targeted due to rumour mongering.
5:15 pm: The Ministry of Home Affairs has sent fresh advisory to Andhra Pradesh and Maharashtra, advising the states to be on guard against rumour spreading.
According to sources, the Home Ministry has also asked the states to identify the source of SMS that caused the rumour.
3:40 pm: Rumours of attack on the people from the Northeast have forced many to leave Hyderabad and return to their home states. Police in Hyderabad are on alert as several people belonging to the Northeastern states have left the city in the past few days.
However, Hyderabad Police Commissioner Tirumal Rao says that there is nothing to worry and asked the people from the Northeast to not panic. "There are about 1700 people from the Northeast living in the IT city. Almost 45 per cent of them have left the city in the last 4-5 days. It is mostly because of pressure and worry from their families. The situation in Hyderabad is normal. We want to tell people not to believe in rumours. We are holding meetings to build confidence. Security in certain areas is being beefed up purely as a confidence building measure," he said.
The police are also operating two helpline numbers to report any incident of intimidation or violence. The helpline numbers are: 9490617100 and 9490617370.
1:40 pm: Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has been briefed about the situation in Assam and its fallout, Home Ministry sources said. Home Ministry sources say other than Pune, no incident of Northeast people being attacked have been reported. The Intelligence Bureau and Karnataka Police have begun a probe into the source of the rumours that have led to people fleeing from Bangalore, say sources.
12:45 pm: Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi appealed to the Northeast to not give in to rumours and not panic. "There is panic amongst our students and people across India. A lot of rumours are doing the rounds, this is creating panic amongst the people. There is no need to panic, people should not give in to rumours," Gogoi said.
12:30 pm: Northeast MPs will meet UPA Chairperson Sonia Gandhi over rumours on attacks on the people from the Northeast.
11:20 am: The Karnataka Police has given a helpline number for the people from the Northeast - 9480801020.
11:10 am: Bharatiya Janata Party President Nitin Gadkari said the Centre must take strong steps to ensure the safety of Northeast people. "This is an issue of Indian vs foreigner and government should leave vote bank politics and the Assam violence should not be given a communal colour. The government should take strong action against the anti-India elements. The students from the Northeast are leaving from Karnataka and other states out of fear. The government should take steps to stop this. The matter will be taken up in Parliament by the Leader of the Opposition," Gadkari said.
11:00 am: The government has appealed to people to not believe in the rumours and warned those spreading rumours leading to thousands of Northeast students fleeing Bangalore. "Action will be taken against those spreading rumours. There is no need to fear," Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde said. "The Prime Minister spoke to the Karnataka Chief Minister. I, too, have spoken to him. There has been no incident in Karnataka. I appeal to everyone not to spread such rumours," Shinde added.
Minister for Northeast Affairs Paban Singh Ghatowar said, "Rumours are being spread by unidentified people. I have spoken to the Karnataka Home Secretary. I appeal to the people not to panic or believe rumours."
Karnataka DGP Lalrokhuma Pachuau appealed to the Northeast students to not panic. "People claim they have received anonymous messages and saw updates on the social media. They should not panic as there is not a single attack anywhere. Northeast students are meeting state home minister and other senior police officials at 11 am. We have called a meeting at 4 pm of the Northeast leaders and other community leaders," he said.
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde have spoken to Karnataka Chief Minister Jagadish Shettar. He has also called a high-level meeting with senior police officials and Northeast community leaders.
An estimated 4,000 people who hail from the Northeast, but were living in Bangalore, are now rushing to leave the I-T city and return to their home states as a fallout of the recent communal clashes.
This is because they fear for their safety after many reportedly received anonymous SMSes saying they would be targeted in retaliatory attacks. "Our relatives in the Northeast are calling us back due to security reasons," one of the Northeast students said.
Many were seen boarding trains out of Bangalore on Wednesday, even after Karnataka's Home Minister R Ashok addressed them on the station's PA system to reassure them of their safety.
Karnataka Home Minister R Ashok spoke on the station public announcement system and appealed the Northeast people not to leave Bangalore. "Bangalore is safe, don't believe in rumours, don't leave Bangalore," he said.
CNN-IBN Appeal: Don't spread rumours and panic
Rumours of attacks on a community are doing the rounds. CNN-IBN appeals to all well-meaning citizens to keep away the rumours and sift facts from fiction. We appeal to all communities to work together to ensure that the students from the Northeast are reassured of their safety.