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Tuesday, May 18, 2021

May 4, 1981, Forty Years Ago: Trade at standstill

The trading community registered a country-wide protest against the Bill to amend the Essential Commodities Act, expressing fears that it would reduce wholesale and retail traders to “third grade” citizens.

By: Editorial |
May 4, 2021 3:37:42 am
The traders were protesting against the “draconian” Essential Commodities (Special Provision) Bill.

The trading community registered a country-wide protest against the Bill to amend the Essential Commodities Act, expressing fears that it would reduce wholesale and retail traders to “third grade” citizens. Reports from the main trading centres of Bombay, Calcutta, Madras and Delhi and wholesale grains, oils and other markets spoke of a “total Bharat bandh” in response to a call by the All-India Foodgrain Dealers Association and the State Federations of Traders Associations. The traders were protesting against the “draconian” Essential Commodities (Special Provision) Bill.

Bobby Sands dies

The Irish Republican Army (IRA) hunger-striker Bobby Sands died in Jail on the 66th day of his fast, and thousands of Roman Catholics swarmed the streets overnight and battled police with firebombs and rocks. Sands, 27, spent his last day blind and in a coma, lying on a water bed and clutching a gold crucifix, while his family kept vigil at his prison bedside. For three hours after he died, the Catholic ghettos rose in fury, hurling gasoline bombs and stones at security forces, throwing barricades across streets, burning buildings and hijacking cars. Police said no injuries had been reported. Sands, sentenced to 14 years in prison for possession of firearms and elected to the British Parliament on the 40th day of his fast, had slipped into a coma on Sunday. He refused all appeals to end his hunger strike to win concessions for fellow prisoners.

Lok Sabha walkout

There was another walkout in the Lok Sabha over the Biharsharif riots as the Deputy Speaker Lakshmanan turned down an Opposition plea for a discussion on the statement made by Home Minister Zail Singh. The Opposition plea was that since the HM’s statement had been made in reply to its adjournment motions, there should be a discussion on it.

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