Nearly 1,000 people were arrested in Nasik and helmeted police swung into action in Vidarbha region rounding up a number of people as the 10-day farmers’ agitation for remunerative prices continued to snowball into other parts of Maharashtra. At least 100 people including 10 directors of the Niphari Sugar Cooperative courted arrest at Nasik’s Panchavati Square. At least 500 people, most of them farmers, were arrested in Bolana. The agitators tried to take out processions to demand the immediate release of their leaders. Prohibitive orders banning processions and assemblies have been put into force in the Vidarbha region.
The BJP President Atal Bihari Vajpayee has challenged Union Home Minister Giani Zail Singh to prove that his party was involved in fomenting communal discord, else withdraw his allegation. He demanded that the Home Minister give the names of the BJP members involved in creating communal strife and asked if they were being prosecuted. He said not a single member of the party had been arrested under the National Security Ordinance. He said an inquiry commission set up by the previous government was squashed once it was revealed that Congress members were involved in the Aligarh riots.
Iran spurns peace
Iran’s president Abolhassan Bani Sadr has rejected the peace terms of Iraq and vowed to carry on the 59-day Persian Gulf war to victory. With his forces counter attacking on the war’s two major theatres in Susengerd and Abadan, the Iran president told a rally that he won’t accept Iraq president Saddam Hussein’s offer of withdrawing from western and southern Iran if Tehran recognised Baghdad’s claim over borderland and the 190-km Shatt Al Arab waterway. Bani Sadr said Iraq’s real objective had nothing to do with territorial disputes but was about bringing down the Iranian revolutionary regime.
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