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Northeast Indians continue to flee major cities over fear of Muslim attacks

(Xinhua)

15:41, August 17, 2012

NEW DELHI, Aug. 17 (Xinhua) -- Despite the appeals and assurances of safety by the government, Indians from the northeast part of the country Friday continued to flee some major cities across the country over fear of attack by Muslims, said local media reports.

The exodus so far confined to Bangalore has now spread to some other parts with people of the northeast region living in other Karnataka cities of Mysore, Mangalore and Kodagu arriving in the state capital of Karnaktata in trains and buses and rushing to railway counters to buy tickets, said local daily The Times of India.

Meanwhile, Chennai also saw thousands of northeast people rushing to the railway stations to flee home, said local daily The Hindu.

More than 15,000 people have fled Bangalore in the past two days following the rumors spreading through cell phones and internet that Muslims will attack them as reprisal against the communal violence in the northeast state of Assam, where over 70 were killed over the past one month in the fighting between Muslims and local Bodo people.

The railways in Bangalore had sold nearly 10,000 tickets for the two special trains that headed to Guwahati, the state capital of Assam, on Thursday night.

People from the northeast are also reportedly fleeing Hyderabad, Mumbai and Pune, where live strong Muslim communities.

Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has condemned rumors triggering the exodus and appealed for maintenance of peace and harmony at all costs.

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