Nanaji Deshmukh, general secretary of the Janata Party, said that Indira Gandhi’s arrest was “sabotaged”. Replying to questions from the media, he added that during her 11-year rule she had placed her own men at all key posts. He would not comment any farther. He, however, warned that those in administration, bureaucracy and services will have to adopt and follow the policy of the Janata government. Any failure to do so will be “penalised”, he warned. Deshmukh also suggested that Mrs Gandhi should be tried by a special court for her “anti-people and anti-national” acts and for subverting the Constitution. He said that these crimes were more serious than the alleged corruption by her and her party caucus. He ridiculed the “fantastic” report about a plot to assassinate Mrs Gandhi.
Kripalani On Indira
Acharya J.B. Kripalani said in any other country Mrs Gandhi would have been hanged or put into prison without any trial for the atrocities committed by her government during the Emergency. He said the question of showing mercy or forgiveness to Mrs Gandhi was immaterial. “The government is not a private person or a charitable organisation. If it is so, thieves and other criminals should be pardoned. If criminals and wrongdoers aren’t punished, society will disintegrate,” he said.
Punjab Killings Probe
A non-official commission to go into the alleged police atrocities against Naxalites in Punjab, headed by V.M. Tarkunde, retired judge of the Bombay High Court, with journalist Kuldip Nayyar and a senior lawyer of the Punjab and Haryana High Court, Dara Singh, as members was announced. The secretary of the Punjab and Himachal committee of the CPI (ML), Baldev Singh, said the commission would probe the death of around 80 CPI(ML) cadres at the hands of the police during the last seven years or so.