Prime Minister Indira Gandhi said most newspapers had been helping consolidate the new climate of self-restraint and responsible behaviour which is evident. It is good that they have been doing so, she said in a message to the All-India Newspaper Editors Conference meeting in Patna. Gandhi said the government needed the cooperation
of the newspapers “in putting our system back on the rails”.
Deputy Information and Broadcasting Minister Dharam Bir Sinha told the Rajya Sabha that although the pre-censorship order was still in force, it had been relaxed as a working arrangement in respect of newspapers on the understanding that newspapers would exercise self-regulation and observe the censorship order on their own. This relaxation operated in all states except Punjab, Rajasthan and West Bengal.
Some of the isolated Naxalite-type actions in Kerala had the support of foreign forces, state Home Minister K. Karunakaran told the assembly. Karunakaran said the activities of these forces had been fully controlled. However, efforts by them to reorganise had been brought to the attention of the government, which had now taken all the necessary security steps. He asked people to become more conscious of the dangers involved in the activities of the Naxalites and the RSS .
Lebanese President Suleiman Franjieh abandoned his fortress palace of Baabda after it was shelled by leftists dedicated to overthrowing him, but declared he would stay in office. The 65-year-old leader’s withdrawal from the hilltop palace to the townhall of a small town was temporary, an official statement said. Leftwing forces appeared determined to go on fighting until Franjieh is brought down.