December 18, 1977, Forty Years Ago: Maruti probe
The Maruti car was not declared roadworthy by the Vehicles Research Development Establishment (VRDE) entrusted with the job of testing the prototype of the car, the Gupta Commission looking into Maruti affairs was told. Testifying before the Commission, A.S. Jayaraman, former director of VRDE, said that VRDE had not declared any prototype car roadworthy after a run of 10,000 or 20,000 km. The target was 30,000 km. He said Maruti Ltd had resisted the appointment of VRDE as the testing agency and had represented to the DG of Technical Development that “VRDE tests were unnecessarily stiff for purposes of passenger cars and VRDE had not supplied them with test data”. The VRDE objected to this and told them that “the firm was finding an excuse to send their prototype to another agency”.
Cong split nears
Indira Gandhi is expected by her supporters to resign from the Congress Working committee on her return after seeking the blessings of Goddess Vaishno Devi at the hill temple some 60 km from Jammu. Mrs Gandhi is said to have discussed her draft resignation with A.R. Anthulay, MP, Maragatham Chandrasekhar, MP, Channa Reddy, and Kemparaj Urs, brother of Karnataka chief minister Devraj Urs. These four persons are now busy preparing the agenda for the second party split to be arranged by Mrs Gandhi in the 90-year-long tumultuous history of the party.
Dead on display
The corpses of hundreds of victims of Ethiopia’s latest outbreak of political violence were put a public show in Addis Ababa as a grim warning from the country’s rulers, diplomats in the city said. Two US Congressmen saw some of the bodies in Addis Ababa streets before flying to Nairobi, where they spoke of a “reign of terror” in the Ethiopian capital. Diplomats said the bodies were brought to pavements and roadsides and left there, many with notes tied to them saying: “This is a revenge measure. We are ed of buying revolution.”