November 27, 1978, Forty Years Ago: PM In Aligarh

The front page of The Global Express News. (Archives)

The recent communal riots were not a matter of shame for Aligarh alone but for the entire country, Prime Minister Morarji Desai said in Aligarh. The history of the emergence of the communal phenomena in the country could be traced to the British days, creating a gulf of hatred between the two dominant communities, he said, adding that the majority of people in both communities was peace loving but the riots everywhere were started by a handful of persons. Desai charged politicians with fanning the embers of communalism by issuing tendentious and politically-motivated statements and counter-statements to serve their “political ends rather than the cause of the peace”. He appealed to the Press to “expose” these politicians and not publish their irresponsible utterances.

Tribal Unrest: 2 Dead

Two persons were killed in the tribal village of Chiragbag, Singhbhum district when the police opened fire on a mob demanding a separate Jharkhand State. The 200-strong mob, some of them armed with bows and arrows, attacked the police station in Koelkara block. The police opened fire in self-defence. The tribals are also concerned over compensation for lands acquired for the construction of a dam over the Subarnarekha.

Morarji, My Leader

Charan Singh described Prime Minister Morarji Desai as “my leader and that of the Janata Party”. He made this remark at a public meeting in Baraut, his home constituency, near Meerut, when a section of the people there asked him to say something about the prime minister. Reiterating his intention and that of his followers not to quit the Janata party, the former Union home minister said his complaint against the party was that it was following the economic policies of the Congress. He made it clear that the “Kisan rally” scheduled for December 23 in Delhi had nothing to do with politics.


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