Forty Years Ago, May 13, 1979: CPI vs communalism
The Communist Party of India is to launch, with the cooperation of other parties and organisations, a nation-wide movement against the danger of communalism This was one of the decisions taken by the central executive committee of the party which met in New Delhi from May 8 to May 10. A communique on the meeting alleged that “the RSS-Jana Sangh combine” had become desperate because of increasing political isolation and was reverting to “Muslim-baiting”. Explaining the committee’s decision, the CPI general secretary, C Rajeshwara Rao, said the attack on the students of Aligarh Muslim University was preplanned.
At every rail head and bus stand in the Santhal Parganas hundreds of people wait for some conveyance to move out to the neighbouring districts of West Bengal. Most of them go on this seasonal migration with their families as agriculture provides them virtually no employment at home in summer. For the first time this season, such migration is being challenged by activists of the Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM), who are stopping buses crammed with the unemployed and starving labourers. Landlords and contractors from the Bengal districts are being mobbed, beaten and warned, it is reported.
Punjab cops held
A number of ring leaders of protesting policemen in Punjab were rounded up in a pre-dawn swoop, as the unrest took a turn for the worse with a clash between the protesters and loyalists at Mukatsar in Faridkot. There were reports of demonstrations by uniformed men at more places. In the Mukatsar clash, a deputy superintendent of police and an inspector were injured. The Border Security Force units were pressed into service at main trouble spots of Bhatinda, Sangrur and Patiala districts as the Director of Intelligence Bureau, S N Mathur, continued his consultations with the state authorities here for the second successive day.