Opinion

Forty Years Ago, June 12, 1980: Tripura on the boil

Forty Years Ago, June 12, 1980: Tripura on the boil
Express front page, June 12, 1980. (Express archives)

Fresh contingents of the army, the Border Security Force and the Central Reserve Police were airlifted from Gauhati to Agartala to reinforce the security forces to quell the riots among tribals and non-tribals. The riots have claimed about 400 human lives, resulted in injuries to 528 others, reduced 25 villages to ashes, rendered over 30,000 homeless, compelled over one lakh to take refuge in 50-odd makeshift camps and affected practically half of the 18-lakh population of Tripura. A battalion of regular troops, three battalions of the BSF and several companies of the Assam Rifles and the CRP were airlifted to help the authorities in restoring law and order in the state.

Loco Strike Spreads

The loco STAFF of the Delhi division claimed that their counterparts in three more divisions — Ferozepur, Allahabad and Muradabad — had joined the strike. Three more divisions — Lucknow, Jodhpur and Bikaner — are expected to join later. However, R K Nateshan, general manager of Northern Railway, denied the claim and said the strike was confined to the Delhi division. Meanwhile, there has been no improvement in the passenger services in the Delhi division on the fifth day of the strike by the loco staff.

Kabul Under Siege

Kabul has been sealed off by Russian troops but the city itself is quiet, BBC reported. The Radio said that a massive military operation had been launched against the Afghan rebels, a few miles north of Kabul. Radio Pakistan had reported earlier that some 40,000 Soviet troops had ringed Kabul amid reports of mounting tension. “Troublemakers”, the Radio said, had entered the capital city and were distributing leaflets. Earlier reports had spoken of fierce fighting between insurgents and government troops in the mountainous areas around Kabul. AP adds that acts of civil disobedience were mounting in Kabul as rebel moves and Soviet counter-attacks north of the Afghan capital raised tensions among residents.

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