The army took over the armouries of the Punjab Armed Police (PAP) at Patiala and Jalandhar as the six-day-old policemen’s agitation enveloped some more areas. Fifty policemen have been sacked and more than 20 activists among them arrested so far in connection with the agitation. A significant development of the day was CPM leaders addressing rallies of striking policemen at Amritsar and Hoshiarpur. The CPM, which normally supports the Akali-Janata government in the state, has, for the first time, lent its support to the agitation of policemen, and authorities in Chandigarh wonder whether the action could be a step towards “broader leftist unity” of communists of all shades in the state on the police agitation, UNI reports.
AMU students flee
About 90 per cent of the students of Aligarh Muslim University have vacated the hostels and gone home through special buses and coaches, according to official information received in Lucknow. Chief Minister Banarasi Das had told newsmen yesterday that the curfew was relaxed for four hours. However, on check it was found that the curfew was not relaxed at all. A total of 83 arrests had been made so far and the death toll remained five.
Health data absent
The Expanded Immunisation Programme, aimed to immunise millions of Indian children against typhoid, polio, smallpox, TB, tetanus and other diseases, is suffering from a major handicap: Data. The programme, which got off the ground in January, does not have proper data on the diseases it is supposed to cover. The data on the EIP diseases at the Central Bureau of Health Intelligence (CBHI) in Delhi is based entirely on hospital statistics. Even this does not include information from many large hospitals. According to the Union Health Ministry, the infrastructure in the states and the union territories is at different levels of development, so the data cannot be compared objectively. There is virtually no information on the disease patterns in the rural areas, where nearly 80 per cent of the people live.