Becky Nyikyor, a 19-year-old student from Manipur, and her friends from other Northeast states have been returning to their Byculla hostel before 8.30pm.
While they would usually step out in the evening with friends or visit the market, they have cut down on their daily outings over the last few weeks, following the recent rumours of a threat to the Northeast community.
Though the city didn’t witness panic among the Northeast community on the scale witnessed in cities such as Bangalore and Pune, precautionary measures meant that several of them have had to change their daily routines.
Nyikyor, a second year Bachelor of Arts (BA) student from Wilson College, Girgaum, has been cautious about stepping out alone. “The hostel is located in a minority community-dominated area and we have been worried after the Azad Maidan violence,” said Nyikyor. “I would often step out in the evening to get some snacks or recharge my phone. But I have now stopped doing that, and recharge my phone from a shop close to college,” she said.
Abba Pulu, 29, a PhD student from the International Institute for Population Sciences (IIPS), Deonar, has adopted a curfew of 8pm to be back on campus. “I often go out for dinner, but for almost 10 days after Eid, I would come back early,” said Pulu, who has only recently reverted to his previous routine.
Some students opted for a higher degree of caution. Kambesa Marak, 20, a BA student from Sophia College, did not attend college last week and headed to the Meghalaya House in Vashi with seven others. “My parents were worried as there was an exodus of Northeast students from other cities, and they suggested that I stay there for some time to be safe,” said Marak.
However, some students didn’t feel the need to take such precautions. “I feel safe here, and I was too busy with my college festival to be worried about rumours,” said Joanna Marbaniang, 20.