"There is no threat to the people of the northeast in any part of the country," Singh told PTI in New Delhi [ Images ] reacting to reports that people from the region were attacked in other parts of the country.
On reports of mass exodus of people from the northeast living in Bengaluru [ Images ], Singh said he had spoken to the chief secretary and the director general of the Karnataka [ Images ] police and they had informed him that there was no incident of attack on anyone from the region anywhere in the state.
"When I got an information that some people from Assam were under threat in Karnataka, I rang up the DGP and checked up with him... There is nothing. When people thronged the (Bangalore) railway station to go to the northeast, the home minister of Karnataka himself went there and told them that there is nothing. So the rumour mongering has to be stopped. Some people are spreading rumours," he said.
The home secretary said there was just one incident of attack on people from the north east in Pune but those involved in that incident were caught immediately.
Gripped by panic following rumours of attack on some of their compatriots, about 5,000 people of northeastern states, including students, on Wednesday prepared to return to their hometowns even as Karnataka Chief Minister Jagadish Shettar [ Images ] assured them of security.
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh [ Images ] and Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde spoke to Shettar on Wednesday night and were understood to have asked him to ensure the safety of people from the region in the state.
The Bangalore City railway station was flooded with northeastern people wanting to board available trains as rumours spread that some people from the state had been subjected to attacks in the city, which was promptly denied by the state police.
Home minister warns against rumour mongers
Meanwhile, Shinde warned of strict action against those who spread rumours. "If rumours are spread, strict action will be taken against those who indulge in such activities," he told newsmen outside Parliament House.
He said the PM and he himself have spoken to the Karnataka CM, requesting him to ask the people to share information on rumour mongers.
Asserting that the situation in the state was peaceful, he said extra trains have been pressed into service for Assam to help people who want to leave Karnataka.
Shinde said 300 people left last night and two extra trains are pressed into service today for Assam.
Karnataka Chief Minister Jagadish Shettar is holding a high-level meeting to tackle the situation.