Opinion

Forty Years Ago, June 20, 1979: Aizawl Unrest

Forty Years Ago, June 20, 1979: Aizawl Unrest

The police were issued orders to shoot at sight anybody indulging in arson, loot or violence in the Mizoram capital, Aizawl. The orders were issued following attempts to loot and set on fire properties of non-Mizos when the curfew was relaxed for three hours at 8 am in the strife-torn capital. The army columns staged a flagmarch through the town’s main thoroughfares immediately after the curfew was reimposed. The police resorted to lathicharge in the Bara Bazar area when miscreants tried to ransack some shops belonging to non-Mizos. The Lt-Govemor of Mizoram, N P Mathur, appealed to all sections of the public to help the administration maintain peace.

SALT II Impact

Welcoming the SALT II agreement as a “halting step” towards detente and peace, the deputy prime minister and defence minister, Jagjivan Ram, said that the possibility of Pakistan acquiring nuclear military capability had caused “much understandable concern”. This needed to be assessed carefully for its impact on India’s security environment in military as well as political terms. “There was unmistakable evidence of the involvement of outside powers there. What was even more disturbing from India’s point of view was the charge against some of our neighbouring countries of open involvement in the internal affairs of Afghanistan,’’ he said.

Wage Increase

More than 2,50,000 workers of the steel industry will get increased wages and additional social welfare benefits under a new wage agreement signed in Delhi. The agreement provided, that the lowest paid worker in the steel plants will receive a wage increase of Rs 67.60 per month. The last wage agreement for steel workers expired in August 1978. The chairman of the steel authority, P L Agarwal,  said that there had been no pressure or threats of strikes or demonstrations before the comprehensive agreement was arrived at.