Opinion

Forty years ago, April 4, 1980: Assam satyagraha

Forty years ago, April 4, 1980: Assam satyagraha
The Indian Express, April 4, 1980, forty years ago.

The All-Assam Students’ Union and All-Assam Gana Sangram Parishad launched a week-long mass satyagraha outside the offices of deputy commissioners, sub-divisional officers, sub-deputy collectors and block development officers in the state as part of their agitation on the foreign nationals issue. At Gauhati, hundreds of men and women from different parts of the city demonstrated outside the deputy commissioner’s office. Some of them were arrested and later released. Meanwhile, the state chief secretary, R S Paramasivam, renewed his appeal to the leaders of the current movement to allow the flow of crude from the state and to seek fresh talks with the prime minister.

Minorities in Police

State chief secretaries and inspectors-general of police broadly endorsed the steps suggested by the Centre to curtail growing lawlessness and prevent communal disharmony and caste conflicts, and to ensure effective distribution of essential commodities. The day-long discussions they had with the top brass of the home ministry were primarily devoted to the “groundwork” for the conference of governors of centrally administered states and other chief ministers scheduled for April 7. At the end of the deliberations, the Union home secretary, S M H Burney, said that the Centre had asked the states to give adequate representation to the SCs, STs and minorities in the police force.

Aviation policy

The tourism and civil aviation ministry is inching towards a liberalisation of the aviation policy. This is indicated by the statements from the minister, J B Patnaik and his deputy, Kartik Oraon, in the last two months. As part of the overall plan to increase the country’s tourist inflows,plans are under preparation to allow import of aircraft for private parties to run third-level air services, executive aircraft for use by big business houses and small six-seaters for private air taxi services.

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