Maharashtra CM asks Arunachal MP to co-ordinate efforts to bring back NE students

NEW DELHI: After the transfer of Mumbai police commissioner Arup Patnaik, the Maharashtra government appears determined to prove that it has a grip on the law and order situation.

State chief minister Prithviraj Chavan has initiated steps to fly back (on concessional charter flights) students from the northeast who had fled following rumours of violence against them. Arunachal Pradesh MP Takam Sanjay has been tasked to co-ordinate the return of students, who fled, primarily from Pune, during this month's exodus.

"The Maharashtra CM met me when I went to Mumbai last week and I have been asked to co-ordinate efforts to bring back students who had left Maharashtra following rumours of violence," he said to ET.

"I will be holding a meeting at hotel Nakshatra in Guwahati on Wednesday with deputy resident commissioners of all seven northeastern states. We will set up a helpline for all students willing to return. Chavan has spoken to the civil aviation ministry to charter flights between northeastern states and Mumbai-Pune on concessional rates. We will be speaking to the railways about special trains as well," he said.

The return of students and controlling the fallout of the Azad Maidan violence, which left two people dead and the police commissioner transferred, is an important part of the agenda for the state government.

"The entire chain of events - from the rumours about Kokrajhar to inflammatory material being posted against the NE community on social media to their exodus from the state to the Azad Maidan protest to the violence there to the MNS rally - needs to be looked at in a single perspective," said a top source in Congress.

"With the return of the students from the northeast, one part of the events will see closure," said the source.