Railways monitoring surge of northeastern people

Chennai: The Southern Railway authorities here are monitoring a sudden surge of people from northeastern states like Assam and Manipur, among others, at railway stations to go back home fearing violence, an official said Friday.

“We are attaching additional coaches to the trains that pass through Chennai to Assam. As of now, we are not planning any special train(s) out of Chennai. But based on the situation, a decision would be taken,” the official told IANS.

The Egmore Railway Station here Thursday saw sudden influx of people from Assam and Manipur. Most of the people were working as labourers in the city hotels and as security guards at different offices or apartments.

According to railway officials, a total of five additional coaches were attached to two special trains from Bangalore that passed through Chennai and the rush has been cleared.

Around 2,000 people have left in those additional coaches for Assam, he said.

“We did not attach any additional coach to the third special train that passed through Chennai,” the official said.

He said around 700 tickets have been sold to Howrah and beyond on regular trains like Coromandel Express Friday, which is relatively on the high side.”

“We are not sure whether the people leaving are from Chennai or coming from Bangalore to board the trains here,” the railway official remarked.

However, the situation is calm amongst the executives and students community hailing from the northeastern states of India.

“Yesterday (Thursday) I found it strange that the security guards in our office hailing from northeast missing in the evening. I find things are peaceful here now. Though my family members in Manipur are bit anxious about my safety, I feel safe,” Dilbir Soram an engineer in an American company, told IANS.

He asked the media not to sensationlise the news thereby creating a fear psychosis in the minds of people, and added that an assurance from the government and police about the security measures would be of great help.

“We feel safe here. There had been no reports of any untoward incidents happening in the state against people from our region. True, my parents are anxious about our safety. But my friends or I are planning to go back now,” a student from Manipur studying in an engineering college here told IANS on condition of anonymity.

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