December 15, 1977, Forty Years Ago: Congress factions

The peacemakers apparently think since a meeting between Mrs Gandhi and Mr Reddi defused the situation last time, a similar meet would resolve the present crisis as well.

By: Editorial | Published: December 22, 2017 12:57:03 am
The peacemakers apparently think since a meeting between Mrs Gandhi and Mr Reddi defused the situation last time, a similar meet would resolve the present crisis as well.

It will not be surprising if the Congress again pulls itself back from the brink of a split. The peacemakers are trying to arrange a meeting of pro-Reddi and pro-Indira leaders to frankly discuss the problems among the factions and how best the two warring groups can accommodate each other. This meeting would be followed up by a summit meeting between Mrs Indira Gandhi and Brahmananda Reddi, the Congress president. Reddi has already been sounded out on the summit. He is reportedly “not quite unwilling.” Though Y.B. Chavan has not warmed up to the suggestion. C. Subramaniam and Swaran Singh had put the suggestion to Reddi yesterday. Then it was followed up by Mr V. P. Naik. The peacemakers apparently think since a meeting between Mrs Gandhi and Mr Reddi defused the situation last time, a similar meet would resolve the present crisis as well.

Turkman gate firing

The firing at Turkman Gate near the Hamdard Dawa Khana by CRP forces on the afternoon of April 19, 1976 was ordered without giving the assembled crowd any adequate warning. The CRP platoons which were allegedly led by P.S. Bhinder, then DIO (Range) and K.D. Nayyar, former SP, New Delhi, did not possess any microphone, wireless or teargas shells. According to the testimony of several CRP constables before the Shah Commission, they were ordered to fire after Bhinder had verbally warned the crowd, but most of the residents are unlikely to have heard this warning. Even the policemen were not aware that there was a curfew in the area.

Dekhenge, says Sanjay

Like his mother, Sanjay Gandhi is also keeping the Shah Commission guessing. He has given no definite answer to the commission’s letter asking him to appear tomorrow. “Dekhenge’’ (we will see) was all he said when he was contacted by a commission official. So, it remains an open question whether or not lie will make an appearance at tomorrow’s hearing, dealing with the Turkman Gate firing with particular reference to his role in the incidents.

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