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Monday, November 30, 2020

Forty Years Ago, November 16, 1980: Sabotage foiled

The Bombay-bound Howrah Express escaped a major accident by sabotage, and former minister George Fernandes made an unsuccessful attempt to stall the functioning of the Nasik district collectorate, as the farmers’ agitation was resumed today after a 36-hour break.

By: Editorial | November 16, 2020 4:00:47 am
Express front page, November 16, 1980. (Archives)

George Fernandes, Assam agitation 1980, Moradabad Tazia 1980, Express

The Bombay-bound Howrah Express escaped a major accident by sabotage, and former minister George Fernandes made an unsuccessful attempt to stall the functioning of the Nasik district collectorate, as the farmers’ agitation was resumed today after a 36-hour break. Fernandes and 25 others were arrested and later remanded to magisterial custody for two days. State Reserve Police (SRP) personnel averted a train mishap involving the Howrah-Bombay Janata Express near Lasalgaon in Nashik district. Noticing that the fishplates on the track had been removed, the patrolling policemen flagged the train to a halt, a railway spokesman said. Prohibitory orders under the Bombay Police Act were extended throughout the district for a week in view of the farmers’ threat to adopt new agitational techniques and “gherao” elected legislators.

Assam stir grows

The agitation on the foreigners’ issue in Assam assumed a new dimension with the threat of statewide indefinite non-cooperation by the state and central government employees from November 24 to press the seven-point charter of demands of the state secretariat employees. Coupled with continued noncooperation by oil sector employees all over the state, the agitators today also gheraoed Janata legislators for their alleged failure to announce a clear stand on the foreigners’ issue in conformity with the agitators’ demands.

No tazia

The Muslim community leaders in Moradabad have decided not to take out the traditional tazia procession in observance of the main Moharrum day on November 19. They have informed the district administration accordingly. The decision has reportedly been taken since sufficient time was not available to decorate tazias in the traditional manner due to disturbed conditions in the town for the past few months.

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