Forty Years Ago, August 14, 1979: Morvi flood deaths

Forty Years Ago, August 14, 1979: Morvi flood deaths

Morvi flood deaths

Thousands are believed to have perished in the industrial township of Morvi and nearby villages in Rajkot district, but the state administration is uncommunicative on the situation in the disaster-hit area. Bodies of the flood victims are submerged under debris which it might take a long time to remove. Vultures were seen swarming the streets, which were littered with corpses. According to a young man returning from Morvi, a hospital with 200 patients and doctors and the police quarters were washed away. Newspapers carried reports with estimates of deaths ranging from 1,000 to 25,000, but were unable to get details about the situation as the teleprinter communication with Rajkot remained cut off.

BSF shoot order

The Border Security Force, which is policing the Indo-Bangladesh border is under orders to shoot at sight if the non-Bengali Muslims from Bangladesh carry out their threatened long march and enter Indian territory tomorrow, according to reports from border areas. The BSF has made all arrangements to meet any eventuality, the reports added. The West Bengal government home secretary, Rathin Sen Gupta, told reporters that ‘‘the entry of the marchers into Indian territory will have to be stopped and the BSF will take necessary action.”

No RBI strikes

The Union Cabinet decided to repeal the controversial ordinance relating to strike by Reserve Bank employees. It allowed another ordinance impounding the compulsory deposits for one year to lapse. With the prorogation of the last session of Parliament, these ordinances would have lapsed even otherwise. However, with today’s decision, the new coalition government has allayed the apprehensions voiced by the leftist parties. The Cabinet has authorised Finance minister, H N Bahuguna, to discuss the CDS matter with trade union representatives.