The police resorted to firing in Sanarpatti in Madurai district of Tamil Nadu when over a thousand kisan agitators surrounded two PRC buses and prevented them from two persons were injured in the firing, according to a government spokesman who read out a detailed statement on the agitation. The police lathi charged and burst teargas shells in Rasipuram in Salem to disperse a crowd of agitators who had reportedly surrounded a police party engaged in removing roadblocks and were throwing stones at them. Ten persons were reported to have been injured. The government spokesman said that a total of 239 persons had been arrested in connection with these incidents.
With the arrival in New Delhi of Aga Shahi, Advisor on Foreign Affairs to the Pakistan government, the stage is set for two days of intense talks between India and Pakistan on matters of bilateral interest. In fact, Shahi said as much in the course of his remarks at the airport. He said he was looking forward to discussions on “matters of bilateral concern as well as recent regional and international developments”. He described his trip as a “return visit” to the goodwill visit paid by External Affairs Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee to Islamabad in February.
Janata on Defections
The Janata Party in Parliament, which continues to be divided on the question of admitting Congress members, asked the government to come out with its promised law on defections in the current session itself. Interestingly, the decision came after the Party Executive decided to admit two members — A K Kotra Shetty, a Congress Lok Sabha MP from Karnataka and Baldev Singh, an independent member from Jammu. The Executive has also decided to set up a committee of five senior leaders who will lay guidelines on future admissions and screen the applications of those seeking membersip of the Janata Party.