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Malaysians told to be wary when in Bangalore

Statesman News Service |

Malaysians flying into Bangalore are advised to be careful.

There have been violent clashes and riots there due to a water dispute between the state of Karnataka, where Bangalore is, and Tamil Nadu.

Although the situation is slowly returning to normal with the lifting of the curfew on Wednesday, Malaysians, said the country&’s consulate general in Chennai Ahmad Fajarazam, should stock up on food and water and remain indoors.

“Those travelling should get in touch with the consulate for updates or help. So far, we have not received any information of Malaysian being hurt in the riots.

“There are over 1,000 Malaysians in Karnataka, comprising those on vacation, business trips and studying,” he said in an interview here on Wednesday.

The consulate and the Malaysian Student Attache Office, added Ahmad, were in touch with the Malaysian students and visitors in the state.

The riots and curfew have led to at least two deaths.

However, no curfew or restrictions have been put in place in Tamil Nadu where there are 5,000 Malaysians.

Malaysian businessman S. Suresh, 35, who was on a vacation with his family in Bangalore, said after being stuck in his hotel room with his children for over 48 hours, that he was glad the nightmare had ended.

He also cut short his trip for the safety of his family despite having to fork out an extra RM1,600 for his return tickets.

“We were worried when we saw mobs torching cars and buses on Monday. They were all armed with wooden sticks.

“Our hotel had to place safety nets and armed guards in the lobby for safety,” he added.

Another Malaysian from Selangor, who declined to be named, said she and her three friends were on a week-long holiday when the riots broke out.

“We were supposed to cross into Tamil Nadu on Monday but had to turn back as the mobs were beating up drivers from Chennai on the streets and torching their cars.

“There was a lot of violence, chaos and confusion,” she said, adding that they managed to travel to Chennai by train.

The riots erupted after an Indian Supreme Court ordered the release of water to Tamil Nadu on Sept 12.

Karnataka is itself facing an acute shortage of water in its reservoirs and rivers.

Those needing assistance can contact the Consulate-General in Chennai via the hotline numbers +91 44 2433 4434 or mobile +919940337339 or +919791114261.

(Nelson Benjamin)