Bangalore: The exodus of thousands of Northeast Indians from Bangalore, Hyderabad and Pune has dealt a serious blow to the hospitality and services sectors in these cities.
Dhruv Chettry, who is from Guwahati, has been working as a floor manager at Herbs and Spice Restaurant in Bangalore for the past one year. With rumours fuelling panic and an exit of more than estimated 11,000 fellow North East Indians from the city over the last three days, Chettry says, the fear is for real.
"About 15-20 of my friends from Assam have left. There are about 800 waiting at the train station," he says.
Bangalore's pubs and restaurants are not the only ones facing a shortfall. Security agencies, too, are seeing a huge churn, triggered by the fear psychosis.
Vishwanath Katti, the Chairman of the Central Association for Private Security Association says that the agency is facing a severe manpower crunch as nearly "500 people have left the city". "We have manpower crunch but what's worrying is what will happen when the next generation of people grows up and they wouldn't want to come back."
Not all are rattled by the rumour-mongering though. Dr Sahariah, who has been practising in Hyderabad for more than two decades now, says there's no reason to feel differently.
"Most of the uneasiness is around students and those involved at the lower level activity like waiters and security guards. We are trying to assure that the city is safe," he says.
There are more than five lakh Northeast Indians in metros like Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore and Hyderabad. While a majority are students, a large number of people are employed in hospitality and retail industry. Analysts say that a large exit will have a significant impact on the industry, given how integral they are to business.