State asks MHA to arrange tour to South India

By Our Reporter

 SHILLONG: The Meghalaya Government is seeking the intervention of the Centre to facilitate a tour of a government delegation from the State to different Southern states where there are reports of mass exodus of students from the Northeastern region to their respective home states.

Expressing concern over the issue, Chief Minister Dr Mukul Sangma informed that they have sought the intervention of the Centre to facilitate a tour of government delegation to various Southern states from where students are fleeing back to the region.

“We would like to have a tour of the Government delegation to instill confidence among the student community,” the Chief Minister said after the Cabinet meeting here on Thursday.

“We would like the Government delegation to visit the respective states and meet the heads of the states, institutions and students. We want to send the delegation to many states at the earliest and we also appeal to the students from Meghalaya studying outside to remain calm,” Dr Sangma said.

However, the Chief Minister informed that after due verification it was found that the rumours about the assault on Northeast students were not true.

Dr Sanagma also informed that he has taken up the matter with other state governments of the region who have assured to take steps to see that the students from the Northeast are not harassed.

Assembly Speaker Charles Pyngrope also expressed grave concern on reports of exodus of students from the North East even as he came down heavily on rumour mongers.

“I am concerned at the manner in which the rumour has spread so fast triggering so much panic,” Pyngrope said adding, “We must get to the bottom of this and those responsible should be punished appropriately.”

East Khasi Hills SP M Kharkrang said the state police have contacted the police in different states to verify the rumours, which were found to be false.

Meanwhile, the State Police have set up a helpline number – 8575001111 to be handled by an IG-level officer, where parents can call up for any assistance.

Students from the North East in Bangalore can also call the DCP (Intelligence), Bangalore 09480801020 to lodge complaints if any.

Meanwhile, the confidence building measure by the Meghalaya Police has been highly appreciated by people across the country.

Meanwhile, Meghalaya Pradesh Youth Congress (MPYC) president, Gabriel Wahlang, informed that the Karnataka Youth Congress will organise a rally in order to repose assurance and confidence amongst the NE student community in Bangalore.

“We are convening a meeting with Youth Congress units of the Northeast states and will leave for Bangalore at the earliest to ensure our students’ safety,” Wahlang said.

In another development, the District administration of East Khasi Hills has refuted the rumours that North Eastern students are being attacked in South Indian states.

Taking strong cognizance of the rumours, the District administration on Thursday convened an emergent meeting with student organisations and senior Police officials to review the situation.

Addressing a press conference after the meeting, East Khasi Hills Deputy Commissioner Sanjay Goyal said there is no truth in the rumors.

“There is no need for parents to panic as the rumours could not be verified,” Goyal said while adding that the situation does not warrant the exodus of the students back to the region.

The Deputy Commissioner also warned rumour mongers while stating that action would be taken against them as per law.

NEHV V-C appeals for peace

In the wake of rumour mongering about imminent communal clashes in Bangalore and Pune in the aftermath of the Assam incidents, Vice Chancellor, NEHU, Prof AN Rai has called upon all students in the campus and outside to maintain calm and refrain from listening to and spreading rumours that are inflammatory in nature.

“As students and faculty of an institution of higher education in the region it is our duty to maintain harmony inside and outside the campus. This University has students and faculty coming from various communities who have always co-existed in a spirit of give and take. It is also our duty to help contain the disharmony arising out of communal tension at this point of time. I appreciate the confidence building message sent by Meghalaya Police. This sort of message inspires confidence in the system,” Prof Rai said while speaking to The Shillong Times on Thursday.

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