Opinion

Forty Years Ago: July 1, 1980

Forty Years Ago: July 1, 1980
West German Chancellor Helmut Schmidt made a stronger appeal to Soviet President Leonid Brezhnev for a complete withdrawal of Russian troops from Afghanistan.

Assam erupts

While violence erupted again in parts of Assam, the agitaters announced their plans to disrupt the state’s road and air links with the rest of the country and paralyse the administration from July 4. In two separate incidents, armed assailants killed five persons in Sibsagar village by mounting grenade attack on a marriage party while a youth was shot dead at point-blank range. The announcement of the new agitation programme came from the All-Assam Gana Sangram Parishad and the AASU amidst faltering prospects of resumption of a dialogue to end the nine-month-long deadlock on the foreigners’ issue.

Tripura violence

An exodus of Bengalis from the riot-hit Khowai, Kalyanpur and Teliamura in west Tripura began as the death toll in mob violence and arson since Saturday night rose to four. The troops fired several rounds at different places to disperse rioting tribals and non-tribals. More than one hundred huts were burnt down at Moharchara, Narayandas Para, Vishnumaster Para, Barakath, Kalamsimura and Jaykrishna Tila. Miscreants also set fire to a house in front of the police chowki at Takarjola. CM Nripen Chakravorty blamed vested interests for instigating mob violence.

Advice to Brezhnev

West German Chancellor Helmut Schmidt made a stronger appeal to Soviet President Leonid Brezhnev for a complete withdrawal of Russian troops from Afghanistan. In remarks at a Kremlin dinner after the first round of his official talks, Schmidt told Brezhnev: “I am sure that you, Mr General Secretary, would contribute considerably to the defusing of this dangerous crisis if you could declare that the announced withdrawal of some Soviet troops from Afghanistan is the start of a continuous movement, which will be continued until there is complete withdrawal.”