Violence Over Urdu
Curfew was clamped for 13 hours in Darbhanga because of clashes in several parts of the town during the bandh against the recognition of Urdu as the second official language of the state. Two persons were stabbed to death during the bandh. At Ranchi, a miscreant stabbed a student to death near the Urdu library. Another death by stabbing was reported at Jamshedpur by the spokesperson of the Dwitiya Rajbhasha Virodhi Samiti, which had given the call for the bandh. At Muzaffarpur, the Delhi-bound Jayanti Janata Express had to be cancelled because some miscreants set fire to it. The fire was quickly brought under control. In Dalmia Nagar in Rohtas district, the telephone exchange and railway station were attacked.
The Madhya Pradesh government is perturbed over ominous developments in Indore. Policemen there have virtually revolted against the superintendent of police for taking action against some of their colleagues, who were alleged to have molested a woman, extorted money from a cycle stand contractor and handcuffed and humiliated a teacher. The administration has taken a tough stand. Fifteen policemen, including some leaders of the Indore police association, have been suspended. The agitating policemen want the criminal cases against their colleagues to be dropped, and a department inquiry instead.
The Rajya Sabha almost lost its chairman — on his 76th birthday. About an hour and a half after he was felicitated, M Hidayatullah, who is also the Vice-President, was outraged over some remarks by members. He threw the gavel and walked out. Many members ran behind him to his chamber and persuaded him to return. Members of all sides, including the leader of the house, Pranab Mukherjee, expressed his confidence in the chairman.