July 6, 1979, Forty Years Ago
The Uttar Pradesh government declared Aligarh a disturbed area and empowered the local administration to impose punitive fines in the localities where incidents of violence are reported. These two measures were announced by Chief Minister Banarasi Das after prolonged discussions with his Cabinet colleagues who had gone to Aligarh to study the situation. A notification was issued under the Provisions of the Disturbed Areas (Special Courts) Act, 1973, providing for the establishment of special courts and expeditious trial of offences committed in the disturbed areas. Das explained that the law would cover the period from May 9 when the Aligarh Muslim University students on their way to Delhi were attacked at Dadri railway station. The subsequent incidents of arson, loot and murder on May 9 and 10 in Aligarh, and then the series of incidents from June 17 until July 4 — in which 14 persons had been killed — would be covered.
The Congress Working Committee will soon meet to discuss the modalities of uniting the Karnataka Congress and the Congress. Swaran Singh, Congress president, and Devaraj Urs, Karnataka chief minister, will have consultations on the subject. Singh said that there should be no real difficulty in working out suitable modalities. The convention at Bangalore passed a resolution calling for a merger of these two parties.
Skylab to crash
The Skylab hurtling down towards earth is clearly no laughing matter any longer. The cabinet secretariat called a meeting of officials to consider the dangers involved in the 80-tonne space station which, because of a technical fault, is coming 100 yards closer to earth with every revolution of the globe. Current calculations indicate that this stranger-than-space-fiction phenomenon, of a spaceship actually striking this planet earth, might take place between July 10 and 18.