Forty Years Ago: June 29, 1980
An inquiry has been ordered into last night’s train accident in which the Amritsar-bound Janata Express rammed the stationary Howrah Express, just three 3 km from the Delhi main station. Seven people died and 19 other were injured; the condition of eight is reported to be serious. The Howrah Express which had left the station at 10.33 pm had halted near the Old Seelampuri station for some 13 minutes. The Janata Express, which was running late, was coming from behind at a speed of 30 to 40 km/hour after leaving the station at 10.35 pm. It appears that either the driver ignored the signal asking him to halt, or the mechanical signal failed.
Lok Dal Protests
The Lok Dal lodged a strong protest against the “systematic attempts” made by the Centre and state governments to foster the legacy of Sanjay Gandhi throwing all norms to the wind. A resolution passed by the party said it was “impermissible” to declare a state mourning for Sanjay as was done by several state governments or to fly the national flag at half mast.
Iran Hostage Crisis
The Iranian president, in a puzzling statement, declared that Iran will live with the hostages and the hostage problem is “insolvable”. The remarks by Bani-Sadr, who has been regarded by the US as one of the best hopes for winning freedom for the 53 captive Americans, came in a speech delivered on July 28. The Iranian President had earlier contended that the hostage crisis should end as early as possible and the US should tender Tehran an apology for excessively interfering in Iranian affairs during the Shah’s rule.
The deposed Shah of Iran is being treated by a team of Egyptian and French doctors in Cairo and his condition has turned critical. His deteriorating condition apparently is related to the cancer for which the Shah’s spleen was removed in March.