Miscreants spreading NE rumours should be brought to book: PM

New Delhi: Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Friday said miscreants spreading rumours that have led to people belonging to North East flee from Bangalore, Pune and other parts of the country, should be brought to book.

Making a statement after Rajya Sabha Chairman Hamid Ansari suspended Question Hour to take up a discussion on the issue, Singh said at stake is not just unity and integrity of the country, but also communal harmony.

"Any miscreant fanning rumours should be brought to book," he said. "Whatever may have happened in Kokrajhar (in Assam) should not be used as an excuse to fan rumours."

The government will create a feeling of security among people of North East in any and every part of the country, he said. "This country belongs to them as much as it belongs to others. We must curb all the elements which are out to create trouble on this sensitive issue," he said, adding a message has to be sent out to all those who want to disturb peace in the country.

"Whatever may have happened in Kokrajhar (in Assam) should not be used as an excuse to fan rumours," he said. "North East is a very sensitive region," he said.

"The North Eastern region of our country is a very sensitive region, but one thing I would like to say that whatever may have happened in Kokrajhar and other areas should not be used as an occasion to fan rumours to create an environment in other parts of our country that the people of the North East feel insecure," Singh said.

"If there are any miscreants, if there are people who are fanning these rumours, I think they should be brought to book," he said.

Singh said he was in touch with the chief ministers of various states, who had assured him that "we will do our utmost to ensure that our friends, our children and our citizens from the North East feel secure in any part and every part of our country."

Leader of the Opposition Arun Jaitley said a fear psychosis is being created among North Eastern people and it is a challenge."It is an onerous responsibility on each one of us to make sure that this panic situation, this rumour mongering, comes to an end," he said.

The Central and state governments and all political parties should speak in one language and make sure that "this exodus stops immediately and those who have been misled go back, return to their place of work and study," he added.