There are few takers for the Janata Soap, launched by the government to beat inflation. Production, after rising from 539 tonnes in October last to 907 tonnes a month later, fell to 450 tonnes in February. Consumers felt “some inferior variety in the name of soap” was not the answer to high prices.
A report by Suman Dubey punched holes in the official account of an incident at Gharwan village near Patna, in which 15 “harijans” were killed. There was evidence in the village of a major fire, which the residents said, was started by the police. The police version is that Naxalites set fire to the village and fired 1,000 rounds of ammunition. But the police couldn’t produce any corroborating evidence.
US in Indian Ocean
The US indicated that it planned to develop the Diego Garcia military facility in the Indian Ocean. US Defence Secretary James Schlesinger told the Senate Armed Services Committee that expansion was essential to counter the Soviet facility in Somalia, ensure the flow of oil from West Asia and prevent nations of the area from being “overshadowed by Soviet naval presence”.
Report indicts CIA
A Rockefeller Commission report said the Nixon administration acted in a “throughly reprehensible fashion” in obtaining CIA foreign policy files for a scheme to discredit Senator Edward Kennedy and his late brothers. The report also said, under prodding by the Johnson administration, the CIA began “Operation Chaos” against the anti-Vietnam war movement. The CIA, at times, acted illegally in these and other domestic spying activities, the commission stated. US President Gerald Ford said it was not in the national interest to make public the material gathered by the commission on the assassination allegations against the CIA.