Forty Years Ago, June 7, 1978: Bengal’s Plea

Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Chenna Reddy has turned down a request from West Bengal Chief Minister Jyoti Basu for commutation of prison terms of the Naxalite leaders, Kanu Sanyal and Souren Bose.

By: Editorial | Updated: June 7, 2018 12:15:11 am
Forty Years Ago, June 7, 1978: Bengal’s Plea The Indian Express’ front page (Express archive)

Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Chenna Reddy has turned down a request from West Bengal Chief Minister Jyoti Basu for commutation of prison terms of the Naxalite leaders, Kanu Sanyal and Souren Bose, presently in West Bengal jails. Both Naxalite leaders were sentenced to life imprisonment by a sessions court in Visakhapatnam. A few months ago, Basu wrote a letter to Reddy for commutation of the prison terms and withdrawal of cases, if any, in Andhra Pradesh against these Naxalite leaders so that they may be released in pursuance of the policy of the West Bengal government. Basu sent information minister, Buddhadev Bhattacharya to Hyderabad to expedite the matter.

Janata National Meet

The national executive of the Janata Party is likely to meet towards end of June to find ways to resolve the developing crisis in the party. The exact date for the crucial meeting will be fixed after Prime Minister Morarji Desai returns from his foreign tour and Charan Singh from the hospital. The offensive Charan Singh’s group has launched lately against its critics has added urgency to forthcoming meeting of the national executive.

PM On Superpowers

Prime Minister Morarji Desai expressed concern at the presence of both superpowers in the Indian Ocean and said he would try to persuade them to keep off the area. Answering questions at a luncheon hosted by the Foreign Press Association and the Diplomatic and Commonwealth Writers Association, Desai said: “I cannot order out anybody from the Indian Ocean. The superpowers could only be persuaded to keep off this area.” Desai was asked about his view on the Soviet presence in the Indian Ocean. “Much more than the presence of the Soviet Union is the presence of the United States of America”, he replied. India was concerned about the presence of the great powers all over the world, he said.

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