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Thursday, December 03, 2020

Forty Years Ago, November 3, 1980: Army pumps oil

The Army was firmly on the Assam scene, facilitating the flow of blocked crude oil from Upper Assam wells to the Gauhati refinery and taking over the maintenance of law and order in the Dispur MLAs’ hostel area.

By: Editorial | November 3, 2020 1:50:11 am
The Indian Express front page, November 03, 1980. (Express archives)

The Army was firmly on the Assam scene, facilitating the flow of blocked crude oil from Upper Assam wells to the Gauhati refinery and taking over the maintenance of law and order in the Dispur MLAs’ hostel area. Pumping commenced after a 11-month halt forced by the agitation on the foreigners’ issue. While the resumption of oil flow will save the 750-km-long Gauhati-Barauni pipeline from the gelling of crude in winter, it might take a few days for the Barauni refinery to be fed, according to Oil India officials. However, the All Assam Students’ Union and the All Assam Gana Parishad decided to resist any attempt at crude oil flow beyond Narengi, until their demands were fulfilled.

Janata’s call

The Janata party urged opposition parties and individuals “sharing its perception” to cooperate with it in resisting the “anti-democratic policies” of Prime Minister Indira Gandhi’s government. In its resolution on the political situation, the national executive of the party regretted that Mrs Gandhi’s government had “nearly destroyed the material and moral fibre of the nation”. It noted that the people had given a massive mandate to the Congress-I hoping to get a “government that works”. But all their hopes had been belied by the Indira Gandhi regime.

Abadan battle

Iraqi forces mounted new assaults on Abadan’s eastern gates, as defenders of Iran’s largest oil refining city “fought with all their might to stop the enemy’s advances”, war communiques from Tehran reported.

NAM panel meet

The non-aligned countries’ committee of “good offices” on the Iran-Iraq war met in Belgrade. The meeting was attended by four foreign ministers — PV Narasimha Rao of India, Isidoro Malmierca of Cuba, Wilson Chakouli of Zambia and Josip Vrhovec of Yugoslavia. The meeting came to an end unexpectedly, for reasons that are still unclear.

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