With 16,000 people already leaving over the last three days the Central government also reacted.
Police sources say efforts are on to trace anonymous SMSs but admit it's virtually impossible to control cyber space. That is because doctored video clips can be put on the Internet from anywhere in the world. What has to be guarded against is the wrong campaign of hate.
The central government has identified some of the websites which hosted doctored photographs inciting violence. Sources in the Union Home Ministry say Mumbai Police and the Intelligence Bureau (IB) has begun probe into the source of these prhotographs. Ministry has asked IB and state police to monitor all contents on the web and has even warned that websites which continue to host offensive material can be banned.
Following rumours leading to the mass exodus of the Northeast people from various cities, the Ministry of Home Affairs has banned bulk SMSes and MMSes for 15 days starting Friday. More than five SMSes or MMSes from one number cannot be sent in one go. MMSes have been restricted to 25k. The ban has been imposed throughout the country.
The Home Ministry, too, has ordered surveillance of social media sites to check for people who are distorting facts and circulating false information. A similar situation persists in Mysore, too, where a Tibetan was killed just a few days ago. Hyderabad, too, is seeing a mass exodus.
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh while address the Parliament said, "We want to send out a message to all those who want to jeopardise our unity that this House stands united and we will work together to control the elements who want to create trouble."
All political parties said the need of the hour is to ensure people from the North East that they are safe and welcome to work or study anywhere they want.
While in Bangalore the police arrested three persons for allegedly attacking Northeast people, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa assured the people from the Northeast that they should not live in fear and should not believe in rumours. "It has come to my notice that people from the Northeast who are living in Chennai are worried about their safety due to recent happenings in Assam. I would like to assure them that they need not have any apprehension on this count. The police are already taking care of their safety. The state of Tamil Nadu has always been peaceful, and my government will ensure that people from all parts of India living in Tamil Nadu do not face any difficulty," Jayalalithaa said in a statement.
Karnataka Home Minister R Ashok on Friday claimed that the number of people from the Northeast leaving the state has come down. "The number of people leaving for the Nothereast has drastically come down. Extra forces have been called in. Six companies of RAF and CRPF have been called in reassure the people," said Ashok.
"The state government has spoken to industry heads of hotels, companies and security agencies who are employing Northeast people that they have to ensure safety of their employees and notify local police station in case of any problems. Two ministers from Assam are in Bangalore today to meet the Northeast people," he added.
Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde assured the Northeast people that the whole country was with them. He also assured that the government was taking action in this regard. "Till now there is no information on the source of rumours. The government is taking this very seriously. International hand is also being investigated," Shinde said while speaking in the Lok Sabha.
"I appeal to the Northeast children who have gone back home to return that the whole country is yours. We are all with you," Shinde added.
D(U) leader Shivanand Tiwari expressed concern in the Rajya Sabha over the mass exodus of the Northeast people from various cities. "The Northeast is bordering a lot of countries and that's why we are even more concerned. We should honestly look into a solution into this matter," Tiwari said.
Speaking in the Lok Sabha, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, "Our people are one. We will do everything to provide security to the people from the Northeast living and working in all the parts of our country. We will work to restore peace and unity. Unity and integrity is being threatened by some people."
Apart from Bangalore and Hyderabad, there were concerns in Maharashtra as well. In Mumbai's Kurla Terminus, hundreds of people from the Northeast were seen heading home despite assurances from Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan that full security would be provided to them.
Maharashtra Home Minister RR Patil would be meeting Pune police officials to discuss security arrangements. Panic hit the city when a few Northeast students were attacked in the Camp area last week. Thirteen people have been arrested for the attack. The police have also dismissed the MMS clip doing the rounds, calling it doctored images of the alleged violence in Assam.
Meanwhile, the BJP is expected to move an adjournment motion on the issue in Parliament on Friday, even as there is a rising demand for politicians to move beyond partisan politics.
Even as the Prime Minister assured Northeasterners of their security. No headway was made into the probe against those spreading rumours. Home Ministry has taken the first step by banning bulk smses. But is that enough to regain confidence of the Northeasterners?