People from the northeast are gradually returning to Hyderabad – after fleeing in droves last month following rumours of impending attacks on them. Their employers have come forward to not only take them back but also mostly treat their absence from work as paid leave.
While their flight in August had caught everyone’s attention, they are making a silent comeback, having realized the mistake in believing rumours spread through SMSes by mischief mongers.
While the railways are running special trains from Guwahati to Bangalore to clear the extra rush of passengers, those returning to their work places in Hyderabad are travelling by normal trains.
The authorities and representatives of the northeastern community here attribute this to a relatively small number of people who left Hyderabad.
“People are coming back as the situation has completely returned to normal,” Sam Khumanthem, the spokesman of Northeast Forum, told IANS.
The Forum is trying to instil confidence among people.
“We are speaking to various associations of students, churches and even the media in the northeast to assure the people that Hyderabad is safe and there are no problems here.”
Sam believes the appeals made by the Forum and other groups in the region helped the people to decide to return.
“We are telling them that they should continue to do what they were doing,” said Sam, whose outfit is also in touch with the police, who have assured continued protection to the community.
A majority of those who left the city were employed as security guards in IT companies in Cyberabad (the IT district on Hyderabad’s outskirts).
According to the forum, the employers have assured those coming back that they would take them back on work.
“The employers have also agreed to treat their absence from duty as paid leave,” said Sam, who believes the move would encourage more people to return.
There are an estimated 40,000 people from the northeast living in Hyderabad. A majority of them are from Assam and live in the Siddiquenagar and Anjaiahnagar areas.
Only a few hundred people from these areas left for their hometowns after getting SMSes that they would be attacked after Eid to avenge the violence against Muslims in Assam.
Police acted swiftly to assure the community full protection.
Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (MIM) president and prominent MP Asaduddin Owaisi visited the areas to appeal to the northeasterners not to leave the city.
T. Salome, an employee in a private firm, pointed out that professionals and students stayed back, thanks to the steps taken by police.
“Unlike in other cities, the situation in Hyderabad was quickly brought under control,” said Salome.
Police continue to maintain that there was no migration of people from Hyderabad. They say some wanted to visit their families in the region due to the anxiety caused by the Assam riots.