Expressing anguish at the exodus of north-eastern people from Pune, Bangalore and other major cities, senior Bharatiya Janata Party leader Sushma Swaraj on Friday said the Parliament must unite to tackle the issue.
"Let us say in one voice in this Parliament to all residents of the north-east that this country is yours, we are all with you, study, live where you want, you will be looked after," Swaraj told the Lok Sabha during a debate on Assam.
"We must rise above politics and tackle the north-east issue," she added.
Reiterating that north-east was a very important area and critical to national security, Swaraj said that the government should attempt to make its citizens feel secure instead of only talking to insurgent groups.
She also demanded the setting up of helplines for north-eastern people.
"Please set up helplines, organise patrols in areas where they live. Let them rest assured that they are looked after. Set up helplines for them everywhere," she added.
Union Home Secretary R K Singh earlier stated that strict action will be taken against those spreading rumours about attacks on people from the north-east.
"People found spreading rumours wouldn't be spared. Those responsible for exodus from Bangalore will not go scot-free," Singh told the media.
The fear of being targeted on communal lines in the wake of the recent Assam riots has led to an exodus of people from Assam working in Karnataka.