Forty Years Ago, July 3, 1979: Mizoram violence
Troops have been alerted all over the disturbed Union Territory of Mizoram and massive combing operations launched to pick up rebel Mizos who carried out a daring three-pronged attack on the CRP guard posted at a new AIR transmitting station on the outskirts of Aizawl and a police picket in an area close to Raj Niwas and the Secretariat complex. The rebels raided the resident sub-divisional officer at Kolashib, about 100 km from Aizawl. Mizo National Front activists exchanged fire with CRP men near the AIR complex, and heavy casualties have been reported. An indefinite curfew has been imposed on Aizawl and Kolashib townships and dusk-to-dawn curfew on the Aizawl-Kolashib sector of the highway.
Dowry-seeking is being made a cognisable offence punishable under the Dowry Prohibition (Amendment) Bill being introduced by the government during the monsoon session beginning from July 9. This is one of the 20 new bills coming up before the Lok Sabha. The dowry bill amendment follows public uproar in Delhi in the wake of several recent cases of bride-burning.
The Taj Mahal probably needs a Shah Commission. More than two years have passed since the Emergency ended. But the Taj is still squirming under one of its “excesses”: Even now, people have to pay the Rs 2 Emergency entry fee when they enter the Taj, when the actual entry fee is only 50 paise per head. Not only at the Taj, but at three other major Agra monuments — Akbar’s tomb at Sikandra, Itimad-ud-Daula’s tomb and the Agra Fort. The entry fee for all these monuments was unilaterally, arbitrarily and illegally raised from 50 paise to Rs 2 by the UP government during the Emergency. And the state government is still collecting the increased fee, despite repeated protests from the Archaeological Survey of India.