Karnataka minister to visit northeast, ask people to return

Karnataka minister to visit northeast, ask people to return

Karnataka Home Minister R. Ashoka Tuesday said he will visit northeast states soon to assure the people there that the state was safe and the thousands who had left it recently following rumours should return.

"Nagaland and Manipur leaders have invited me. If Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi invites me, I will visit that state too," Ashoka, who is also the deputy chief minister, told reporters here.

Dates of the visit, however, have not been fixed.

Around 25,000 northeast people left Bangalore between Aug 15 and Aug 19 following rumours of impending attack on them in retaliation for violence in Assam.

The home minister said the rumour mongers had set Aug 20 as deadline for the northeast people to leave the city or face attacks.

However, there had been no violence in Bangalore or any other part of the state, he pointed out and said the northeast people who had left the city should return to their work.

Ashoka said around 350,000 northeast people were living in Karnataka, of which over 240,000 were in Bangalore alone. Of the total northeast people in the state, only around 25,000 had left for their home towns.

Assam Transport Minister Chandan Brahma and Agriculture Minister Nilamani Sen Deka and Nagaland Power Minister Doshehe Y. Sema and parliamentary secretary for social welfare and women development Chotisuh Sazo had visited Bangalore separately last week to review the situation with Ashoka and assure their people about safety.

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