December 11, 1978, Forty Years Ago: Bihar Violencehttps://indianexpress.com/article/opinion/columns/december-11-1978-forty-years-ago-bihar-violence-5487235/

December 11, 1978, Forty Years Ago: Bihar Violence

Front page of The Indian Express on December 11, 1978

Front page of The Indian Express on December 11, 1978

Nine battalions of automatic weapons-wielding CRPF and BSF moved into different parts of riot-torn Bihar to protect public property in the wake of the intensified anti-reservation violence. A spokesman said while the CRPF would be guarding the railway and other public property north of the Ganga, the BSF would look after the south. A control room had been set up in the state secretariat to monitor law and order.

Land And Caste

Two Harijans were beheaded and the head of another was smashed allegedly by rich farmers in Kaila village in Nalanda district following a land dispute, according to the police. The farmers had also opened fire on the Harijans three days ago.

Giri Wants Polls

The former President, V V Giri, demanded the dissolution of Parliament and fresh poll as the constitutional government at the Centre has failed. Speaking at the Rajaji birth centenary celebrations, Giri said as a defender of the Constitution, the President should take steps to form a national government before ordering fresh elections. He said the Janata Party, voted to power after 19 months of dictatorial rule, had failed to live up to the expectations of the masses.

Iran Turbulence

Hundreds of thousands of Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi’s foes marched through downtown Teheran in a peaceful procession. The army estimated 300,000 persons paraded along the five-and-a-half mile route down Shah Reza Avenue, one of the city’s main boulevards. March organisers claimed up to two million people joined what they termed a “referendum in the streets” to show Iranians want the Shah to step down from his Peacock Throne. Thousands of women shrouded in black ankle-length robes known as chadurs were in the three-mile-long procession of chanting protesters.