Forty Years Ago: February 11, 1979
RSS shakhas banned
The Uttar pradesh state government has decided to ban RSS shakhas in parks, public places, playgrounds and the grounds of educational institutions. The state labour and excise minister, Ramashankar Kaushik said in Lucknow that necessary orders were being issued to this effect.
The Union Industry Minister, George Fernandes, said in Baroda that he was still in favour of nationalising the key industries in the country. Fernandes told newsmen that a committee, appointed by the national executive of the Janata Party, had discussed this matter for about two hours in Delhi yesterday. The next meeting will be held on February 19, he said. The members of the committee, besides Fernandes, are Union Home Minister H M Patel, Ashok Mehta, Surendra Mohan, Ramkrishna Hegde, Viren Shah, Krishnakant and Dr Bhai Mahavir.
Law above all
President Zia-ul-Haq today enforced strict Islamic punishment for extra-marital sex, drinking liquor, libel and theft. Pending the levy of special Islamic taxes next July, he created a social fund of $225 million for the country’s destitutes. Announcing the measures at a state ceremony marking the birthday of the Prophet Mohammed, President Zia told a press conference in Islamabad that the “deterrent punishments” were for the good of mankind.
Iran on edge
Imperial Guard troops fought running gun battles with dissident airmen and armed civilian supporters of Ayatollah Khomeini as a mini-civil war erupted around an air force training centre in south-eastern Teheran. Hospitals in the area reported 62 dead and more than 300 injured. Prime Minister Shanpour Bakhtiar went before the Iranian senate with a “final” warning that “any aggression will be repulsed most severely.”