Prime Minister Indira Gandhi said she received reports that there were “foreign hands” behind the recent riots at Moradabad and other places. Speaking at the meeting of Congress-I Working Committee, she said one might also view the Assam situation in the same context as there were similar allegations that there were foreign forces behind the movement there. The PM said that the flare-ups were all politically motivated. The incidents in Moradabad and other places should not be seen as isolated incidents. She said India has had extremely good relations with the Arab countries but there were forces trying to create misunderstanding between India and these nations.
Prickly Poppy Havoc
A rare epidemic has hit some parts of rural Bengal owing to the consumption of a wild extract mixed with mustard oil. Physicians identified the adulterant as Argemone Mexicana, commonly called prickly poppy whose shrubs grow everywhere. Till now only one death has been reported but it is feared that the mortality could be higher because villagers are gullible to take any such illness as “mysterious disease”. C P Thakur, a Patna-based physician, said that such an epidemic is usually reported when prices of mustard oil become very high — its adulteration with prickly poppy oil becomes very common.
Bonded By Suffering
Whatever the state of relations between India and China, the two neighbours have been exchanging messages of sympathy over natural disasters in the two countries. Prime Minister Indira Gandhi received a letter from Chinese Premier Hua Guofeng expressing sympathy over the floods in Varanasi. Mrs Gandhi said she had thanked the Chinese premier saying his words have offered solace. Last month, she had sent a message expressing sympathy for the typhoon-hit people of China’s Guangdong province.