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Friday, September 18, 2020

August 7, 1980, Forty Years Ago: Assam Detenus

From Assam Detenus to Revitalising NAM, this is what made headlines on this day, forty years ago.

August 7, 2020 12:29:01 am
The Indian Express Front Page from August 7, 1980

All the 76 detenus held under the Preventive Detention Ordinance in Assam in connection with the recently withdrawn Assam agitation have been released. Of them, 75 were in the state’s different jails, while one was to Delhi’s Tihar jail. Six more government employees, including two under-secretaries, were reinstated to service bringing the number of such employees to 32. There are still about 134 employees, whose cases are to be reviewed, according to Ramamurthy, Adviser to the Governor of Assam. The overall situation in the state had improved due to the withdrawal of the agitation, Ramamurthy said.

Revitalise NAM

India should take the initiative in revitalising the Non-Aligned Movement. This was the call that came from several quarters in the Rajya Sabha during a discussion on the working of the External Affairs Ministry. Members urged the government to take immediate action to create the right climate for the success of the 1981 Colombo meeting, which would discuss the issue of making the Indian Ocean a zone of peace. Ties with China came in for special attention. A new factor was the US-China-Japan relations. One of the factors stressed was that the strength of foreign policy depended much on that of internal policy.

UP Deluge

Major rivers in the state of Uttar Pradesh running above the danger level pose a fresh threat to large areas of the state. The Ganga, which continues to rise, may cross the danger level on August 7. The Ghagra is already above the danger mark and areas in Bara Banki and Ayodhya are under threat. Two giant dams in the state — the Nanak Sagar in Pilibhit and the Sarda Sagar in Bijnor — were about to burst as the flood authorities in the state were working on a war-footing to release their waters accumulated by the incessant rains. If the dams burst, nearly 900 villages, it is feared, would be washed away.

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