NEW DELHI, Aug 16 (IANS): The central government Thursday said people from the northeast were safe in Karnataka and also warned those spreading rumours that sparked a panic exodus from the state.
"Don't spread such rumours... There is peace, all steps have been taken," Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde told reporters outside parliament.
"Strict action will be taken against people who spread rumours," he added.
His warning came after over 5,000 northeastern students fled to Guwahati by special trains late Wednesday and early Thursday following remours that they would be attacked to avenge the ethnic violence in Assam.
Home Secretary R.K. Singh echoed his message.
"There is no threat to the people of the northeast in any part of the country," Singh told reporters.
"There is no incident in Karnataka, this is just rumour. People need to avoid rumours... There is no incident... full stop... no incident," Singh said.
On Wednesday evening, Karnataka Home Minister R. Ashok visited the Bangalore Central railway station and assured the northeast students and professionals that they were safe in the state.
Two special trains to Assam were run by South-Western Railways Wednesday amid escalating demands for tickets.
BJP leaders Sushma Swaraj and party president Nitin Gadkari asked the central government to ensure the safety of the people of the northeast.