The flood situation in West Bengal took a grave turn with more areas cut off and new areas being inundated by the gushing waters. Chief Minister Jyoti Basu said that a large number of people were yet to be rescued and we do not know their condition. The rescue operations have been hampered for the lack of speed boats. The state government had asked the Defence Ministry for 200 speed boats, but the Centre did not possess that many. Basu confirmed 147 deaths, while apprehending that the toll would be heavier. Among the new areas threatened are Tamluk in Midnapore and Uluberia in Howrah. The Tamluk town is being submerged by the Midnapore canal. The Damodar river is fast approaching the town.The religious town of Nabadwip is already under 10 to 20 ft water.
Jagjivan Ram’s Call
Defence Minister Jagjivan Ram called members of the scheduled castes and scheduled tribes to forge a common front irrespective of their affiliations and spearhead a national movement for of the down-trodden. “Efforts are being made to suppress you and to exterminate you if you resist suppression. But those who are masterminding these efforts are living in a dreamland,” Ram told a parliamentary convention of backward classes in Delhi. “It is now or never,” he said.
The funeral ceremony for Pope John Paul I will be held next Wednesday at the Saint Peter’s Square. This was announced at the first meeting of cardinals after the death of the Pope. The meeting also decided that the conclave to choose the new Pope,will begin on October 14.
Syrian forces have launched heavy bombardment of right-wing Christian areas of the Lebanese capital, including areas that had not before come under fire, BBC reports.