June 8, 1976, Forty Years Ago: Syrians Reach Beiruthttps://indianexpress.com/article/opinion/columns/june-8-1976-forty-years-ago-syrians-reach-beirut/

June 8, 1976, Forty Years Ago: Syrians Reach Beirut

Excerpts from The Indian Express front page, forty years ago.

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The Express front page, forty years ago.

Syrian armoured units thrusting into Lebanon were closing in on Beirut, a radio station hostile to Syrian intervention reported. At the same time, Palestinian commandos fighting alongside Lebanese leftists accused Damascus of ignoring a ceasefire due to come into effect. The airport in Beirut was shut following heavy fighting between pro-Syrian and anti-Syrian forces. In Cairo, the Arab League called an emergency foreign ministers’ council meeting.

Race Rage

The lead report of the day emphasised that despite the mounting racial tension in London as a result of the murder of an Indian student by a group of white youths, British Prime Minister Callaghan had neither come out with a statement nor responded to Asian community leaders’ request for a meeting. Later, they surrounded the police station to demand protection from whites. , in an apparent retaliatory action two white youths were stabbed at the nearby bus station. Community leaders were trying to calm the Asian youth. Some Asian youths marched through Southall streets chanting, “we want blood”. Indian Deputy High Commissioner K. Natwar Singh toured the tense Southall area, met community leaders, and visited the house of Sardar Chaggar, the father of the murdered Asian youth.

Heat Wave In Bihar

With five more deaths reported from Hazaribagh, the death toll in the heat wave that swept across Bihar rose to 42.

Elephants airlifted

Eight elephants, the largest consignment since the ban on export of animals was lifted, were sent to Frankfurt zoo from Delhi. Air India took special measures to load the animals in proper and spacious cases, as stipulated in the International Air Transport Association manual. A special handler accompanied to look after the animals.