Mumbai/Nashik, Aug 17 - Gripped by fear over their safety following sporadic attacks targeting those from the northeast in Pune, several hundred people from the region living in Maharashtra are believed to have fled to their respective states over the last few days.
Though there are no official data about the number of people who have left the state in the wake of the Pune incidents, Opposition BJP today claimed over 6000 had headed back to their states.
In Nashik said about 400 people, mostly from Assam, are reported to have boarded Kurla-Guwahati Express at Nashik Road station this morning.
Most of them working as labourers in industrial units at Dindori, Nashik and Silvasa said they were returning to their states as a precaution or due to pressure from their families back home.
They denied having received any SMS or MMS warning about threat to their security.
Deputy Commissioner of Police and Mumbai police spokesman Nisar Tamboli said all police stations in the city have been asked to be vigilant to ensure there was no persecution or harassment of people from the northeastern states.
"The police stations have been asked to be on alert and treat even a small complaint seriously," he said.
However, BJP has claimed thousands of people from the region had fled Mumbai, Pune and other cities to their native states in the last three-four days.
"Yesterday itself, around 3200 left from Kurla station in Mumbai. Around 3,000 have fled from Pune, 800 in Nashik and around a 100 in Ahmednagar," state BJP spokesperson Madhav Bhandari said.
"The Patna-bound train in Pune yesterday was crowded with people from northeast and today Central Railway added three extra bogies to Assam-bound train," Bhandari claimed, adding "it is a matter of shame for entire Maharashtra".
A Central Railway spokesman, however, said in Mumbai they have not arranged for special trains or additional coaches in northeast-bound trains as there was "no need".
The August 1 blasts in Pune, August 11 riot in Mumbai and the cases of people from northeast fleeing the state after attacks are all linked, he said and accused the state government of being a mute spectator. PTI