July 30, Forty Years Ago: Diego Garcia Base

The US Senate voted to let the Pentagon build a naval base and support facility at Diego Garcia in the Indian Ocean.

Published:July 29, 2015 11:52 pm
 Indian Ocean,  Emergency, Coup In Nigeria, indian express Opponents of the Pentagon plan feared the Diego Garcia proposal was the forerunner to the expansion of US presence in the Indian Ocean.

The US Senate voted to let the Pentagon build a naval base and support facility at Diego Garcia in the Indian Ocean. The House of Representatives had cleared the proposal last year. With Congress’s clearance, the Pentagon could enlarge the communications station, build a 12,000-foot runway for navy planes, provide anchorage for a six-ship US carrier task force and storage capacity for 6,40,000 barrels of oil — enough to fuel a carrier task force for 28 days. Opponents of the Pentagon plan feared the Diego Garcia proposal was the forerunner to the expansion of US presence in the Indian Ocean and would influence the USSR to reciprocate.

Teaching Discipline
Union Home Minister Brahmananda Reddy told the Rajya Sabha during the course of a discussion on the amended Misa that the Emergency was not intended to strike terror or fear in the minds of the people. It is primarily intended to galvanise people into action, to spark them to activity in a disciplined, purposeful way, Reddy said.

Flood Worsens
The flood situation turned critical with 10 million people in Bihar and over a lakh in Assam threatened by the rising rivers. The rivers left thousands of villages isolated and destroyed acres of standing paddy and jute crops. The worst affected are Madhubani, Sitamarhi, Muzaffarpur, East and West Champaran and Darbh-anga districts.

Coup In Nigeria
Nigeria’s president, Major General Yakubu Gowon, was deposed from office by the commander of his own elite Guards Brigade. Radio Lagos reported that Colonel Joseph Nanven Garba had taken over the government and warned the nation to abide by the law or risk being shot. The bloodless coup was staged when Gowon was at a meeting of the Organisation of African Unity in Kampala.

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