Forty Years Ago, August 29, 1977: Sri Lanka Riots

Tamil members of Parliament have complained of harassment and looting by police personnel in Jaffna even during curfew hours and asked that army units replace the police. On Friday, about 30 shops were set on fire in Jaffna.

Written by Editorial | Published: August 29, 2017 12:15 am
sir lanka riots, raj narain, morarji desai,  Zia ul Haq, pakistan, Jathdedar Jagdev Singh Talwandi, akali dal The Indian Express frontpage onAugust 29, 1977

The toll in Sri Lanka communal violence has risen to 105, according to newspapers on Sunday. This figure includes looters and other law-breakers on charges varying from looting, arson, curfew violation to murder. Tamil members of Parliament have complained of harassment and looting by police personnel in Jaffna even during curfew hours and asked that army units replace the police. On Friday, about 30 shops were set on fire in Jaffna.

Raj Narain’s Fears

Union Health Minister Raj Narain alleged the “discredited” Congress leaders are conspiring to defame and dismember the Janata Party and pull down its governments. He said that the Congress leaders were inciting communal and social conflict, student and labour unrest and raising the bogey of atrocities on Dalits with a political motive. These machinations of the Congress will, however, come to naught and the Janata Party will gain strength, cohesion and unity with the passage of time, he said. Narain said to fight casteism “a Jati Toro Sammelan” would be held in Delhi in September. The conference would be addressed by Prime Minister Morarji Desai, Home Minister Charan Singn and Defence Minister Jagjivan Ram. On the possibility of a uniform personal law, he said the Janata government would not interfere with the religion or customs of Muslims.

General To General

Pakistan Chief Martial Law Administrator General Zia ul Haq received a letter from Bangladesh President General Zia ur Rahman, the details of which were not revealed. It was handed over by Bangladesh Foreign Secretary Tobarak Husain, who is now in Pakistan on an official visit.

New Akali Dal Chief

Jathdedar Jagdev Singh Talwandi, MP, was unanimously elected president of the Akali Dal at its general body meeting in Amritsar.

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