SHILLONG, Aug 17 � Former Meghalaya Chief Minister DD Lapang today said the reports of attacks on Northeastern students and subsequent threats of further reprisal, cannot be brushed away as mere rumours.
Lapang, who is also the Chairman of North East Congress Coordination Committee (NECCC) has dashed off letters to the All India Congress Committee president Sonia Gandhi and Union Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde, expressing �concern and deep anguish� over the reported attacks and threats.
In the letters, the NECCC chairman urged the Congress leaders to render all necessary help to the hapless students and take appropriate stand on the threats and the reports of the attacks.
�What rumours? Do you think the 1,100 students who have already returned to the region did so without any reason? The affected State Governments must admit about the reported attacks and threats instead of merely brushing it off as rumours,� Lapang said at a press briefing at the Congress Bhavan.
He further asked, why would students from Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Puducherry and Maharashtra, flee if the situation was normal as claimed by the affected States.
�If these (reports of students being attacked) are rumours why are students in the hundreds fleeing? If nothing happened why nine people were arrested in Pune? There can be no smoke without fire�, Lapang stated.
Meanwhile, the Meghalaya Government too expressed concern over �student exodus� from southern States fearing attack, saying, such incidents might �have serious ramifications in the long run� and so a delegation is being sent to the concerned States immediately on a fact-finding mission.
Chief Minister Mukul Sangma said: �It is a matter of concern (students leaving southern States fearing attack) and such incidents would have serious ramification in the long run.� He said a delegation would be sent to the affected States to find out the truth behind the reports and requested the Home Ministry to assist the delegation in its fact-finding mission.
The Meghalaya police, however, dismissed the reports of NE students being attacked in the southern States as rumours. It has also given out a helpline number 918575001111 for those who need any sort of assistance.