Opinion

November 18, 1979, Forty Years Ago: US Hostages Freed

November 18, 1979, Forty Years Ago: US Hostages Freed

Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini ordered the release of all women and black hostages at the US embassy in Tehran if they are proved innocent of spying, and said he was acting out of Islamic mercy, Tehran Radio reportedly said. Khomeini’s statement said the remaining “professional spies” will be held until the Shah and “all that he has plundered” are returned to Iran. The broadcast said the captors would comply with Khomeini’s order to free six or seven American women and several black marines from among the estimated 62 Americans and eight non-Americans held in the embassy since November 4.

CFD Ministers Resign

Eight CFD ministers resigned from the Banarasi Das ministry, creating a post-dated political crisis in the state which would make the survival of the Lok Dal government in Uttar Pradesh difficult. One CFD minister of state, Govind Singh Mehra, however, did not resign. According to Chief Minister Banarasi Das, he would forward the resignations of all the eight cabinet ministers to the governor for acceptance.

AMU’sStatus

Charan Singh’s caretaker government has dropped its plans to come out with an ordinance to declare Aligarh Muslim University a minority institution: This decision has already been discussed at various levels in the government, and has been taken mainly because of fears that President N Sanjeeva Reddy, might not agree to sign it. Instead of issuing the ordinance, Singh is now thinking of making a promise in the election manifesto that if his party comes to power it will make a law granting AMU minority character. Even on this issue, there appears to have developed a difference between the two partners of the ruling alliance — Lok Dal and Congress. Lok Dal wants to amend the AMU 1920 Act, while the Congress fears that in this form it would be struck down by the Supreme Court.