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5,000 NE people flee Bangalore, Centre warns rumour mongers

"If rumours are spread, strict action will be taken against those who indulge in such activities," Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde told reporters outside Parliament House. 

He said Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and he had spoken to Karnataka Chief Minister Jagadish Shettar, requesting him to ask the people to share information on rumour mongers.

Extra trains have been pressed into service for Assam to help people who wanted to leave Karnataka, Shinde said, asserting that the situation in the state was peaceful.

Reacting to reports that people from the north east were attacked in other parts of the country, Home Secretary R K Singh said in Delhi, "There is no threat to the people of the north east in any part of the country."

On reports of mass exodus of people from the north east living in Bangalore, Singh said he had spoken to the Chief Secretary and Director General of Karnataka Police and they had informed him that there was no incident of attack on anyone from the region anywhere in the state.

In Bangalore, the Chief Minister held a high-level meeting today to review steps to tackle the situation.

Two Assam-bound special trains were operated late last night in addition to the regular service to clear the sudden rush of passengers triggered by the rumours in the wake of one incident of attack on people from the north east in Pune in the wake violence in Assam.

Railway officials had said in Bangalore yesterday that they had sold over 5,000 tickets for north eastern destinations.
 

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