'There's no way I am leaving'

'There's no way I am leaving'

Unfazed by the rumours, many people from the North-East have decided to stay back as they feel Bangalore is one of the safest cities  

The news of a large number of people from North-East leaving Bangalore by rail and air is a blot on the Silicon City of India. The exodus has not only shocked Bangaloreans but the many North-Eastern bravehearts who have chosen to stay back in the City, unruffled by the rumours of the community being targeted.
 
The migrants who chose to stay back in their adopted home are disappointed with their fellow North-Easterners leaving Bangalore. They hope better sense will prevail and people won’t choose to believe rumours.

Metrolife spoke to a few people from the North-East community and the police to understand what is being done to contain the situation.

Several representatives of the North-East community met the government officials, including the chief minister on Thursday morning, in an emergency meeting, demanding that they be given an assurance on safety. Most of the people from the North-East in the City work in the beauty industry, run small restaurants and are studying as well. The brave contend that Bangalore is one among the safest cities and that there’s no need to fear and succumb to such rumours.

Romila, a law student, thinks people began to leave after believing the half-baked information doing the rounds. “The need of the hour is to work together to ease the situation rather than add fuel to fire. I don’t think Bangalore has such violent people. It’s like any other normal day for me,” she says.

Monika Khangembam, an active voice within the community and a representative of the association, informs that the group who met the government officials presented authentic cases of violence against those from the North-East. “Safety is our main concern and we’ve asked the police to step up the patrolling in areas such as Thanisandra, Ejipura, Nilasandra, Viveknagar and Koramangala where a large number of North-Eastners live.
People should stop making impulsive decisions and the victims should have come forward and reported their concerns to the police,” says Monika. She was also a part of the group that went to meet the chief minister. “We have been told that we will be given full protection and the jurisdictional police stations will be alerted on the issue. And when we complain, our personal information will be kept confidential,” she adds.

Chumdemo Shitio, an IT professional, too thinks people are acting in a hurry. “I have been living in Bangalore for the last 11 years and I have never felt uncomfortable. I think this whole issue has been blown out of proportion. I am waiting and watching to analyse the turn of events. It’s unfortunate,” Chumdemo observes.    

Robert Naorem, a stylist, has thirty people from the North-East who work exclusively for him. “I have made Bangalore my home and there’s no way I am leaving the City. I’ve been here for the last five years and even live in a Muslim area. My neighbours are helpful and I think people should stop spreading rumours and fanning the flames of hatred. We should exercise caution and not stir out at night,” he says.

Additional Commissioner of Police (law and order) T Suneel Kumar says that the panic has been unleashed by a few rumour mongers. “We know that about 6,000 people have left by train. We have decided to increase patrolling and post extra police personnel in sensitive areas. People must report any cases of abuse to the police station immediately,” Suneel concludes.

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