Dehradun, a safe haven for northeast students
Natives of the northeastern (NE) states may have fled from states like Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and Maharashtra in large numbers following the 'threat rumours', but the state capital of Uttarakhand presents an entirely different picture.
Dehradun, which attracts hundreds of NE people for academic as well as professional reasons every year, continues to enjoy a 'safe haven' status amidst members of the NE residing in the city.
Jackson L Hrangchal, a student of bachelor in business administration from Institute of Management Studies, Dehradun, feels that there can't be a safer place than Doon to stay in.
"I have been residing here for the past few years and feel most comfortable in all aspects. Even as many folks from my native state Manipur are moving homewards from southern states of India due to security concerns, I don't think such (security) concerns can ever arise here," he tells Hindustan Times.
The sheer fear of violence instilled by rumor mills among the NE people in some states has failed to panic Dehradun's NE community in any way.
Pentile Phong from Nagaland, who is pursuing masters in natural resources management from Doon University, shifted to Dehradun barely a month ago, but the brief period has been enough for her to fathom the safe port that this place offers.
"Doon is a beautiful place with wonderful people around. I feel totally safe here and I think that the place is completely secure for persons from NE, given the kind of unease in some parts of the country regarding the NE," she adds.
Agrees Josiah Gengmei, a student of information technology at Institute of Technology and Management who hails from Manipur, "It's quite a peaceful place and I hope that it remains this way".
Expressing concern for the safety of her brethren in other parts of India, Assam's Ankita Borgohain, a beauty expert working in a local beauty salon, says, "The exodus of NE people from different Indian cities is a real sad turn of events. Touchwood, Dehradun's been completely untouched by any such happening," she concludes.