Karnataka Deputy Chief Minister R Ashoka arrived in Guwahati on Saturday for a visit to Assam and Manipur to convince people from the northeast to return to Karnataka and resume their education and work.
After arriving in Guwahati with Karnataka Director General of Police L Pachhau, Ashoka talked to a group of Assamese youth who had fled from Bengaluru and told them that their employers had assured the government that every employee from the northeast would be reinstated. He also met Assam Chef Minister Tarun Gogoi.
"Karnataka is safe. We have already registered 17 cases and arrested 22 persons who had spread rumours and sent out threats through SMSes and MMSes. Our police have also seized two PCs, one laptop and one mobile handset which were used for spreading rumours," Ashoka told media persons.
According to the deputy CM, out of about 3.5 lakh northeast people working and studying in Karnataka, majority of them are employed in security agencies and the hospitality industry. A considerable number of the NE people are working as executives in the lucrative IT sector.
He said 34,627 persons of NE origin had bought railway tickets in Bengaluru for various destinations in Assam during the week since August 15 after panic spread in the community because of threatening SMSes.
"The Karnataka government is leaving no stone unturned to book culprits behind the forgettable episode of rumour-mongering. The investigation inputs are is being shared with the Union home ministry," Ashoka said.
Image: Karnataka Deputy CM R Ashoka interacts with a youth who fled from Bengaluru