Forty Years Ago, April 11, 1980: Assam Satyagraha

By: Express News Service |

Published: April 11, 2020 12:12:05 am

The Indian Express, April 11, 1980, forty years ago.

It was an explosion, a human explosion, not a satyagraha — where nearly three lakh people courted arrest. The state government employees openly defied orders of suspension or dismissal and joined a several-mile serpentine queue of satyagrahis. Except the IAS officers, practically everybody from the administration was in the streets. The satyagrahis assembled in a maidan opposite the students union office, collected their badges inscribed with the slogan “Long Live Assam” and walked in twos to the deputy commissioner’s office. The office represents the government which has not yet conceded the demand to oust foreignrs from Assam.

Supporting SCs

The Union cabinet decided that for 1980-81, Rs 100 crore would be given to states as special supplementary central assistance for the Scheduled Castes. Some other decisions taken at the cabinet meeting were: The special food for work programme will continue till the end of September and as much foodgrains as would be needed for this would be supplied. Cement would be given on a priority basis for irrigation and power projects, and also for food for work programmes. An additional Rs 11 crore would be given to the drought-affected areas for procuring 98 rigs from indigenous sources for drilling wells — especially in the hard-rock areas.

Iran-Iraq Tensions

Iranian naval vessels left port and steamed out into the Persian Gulf to “counter any aggression” from neighbouring Iraq, Teheran radio reported as the two nations remained locked in a tense border showdown. Some 25,000 Iranians expelled from Iraq have poured across the border into western Iranian provinces, Iranian officials reported. Iran’s army chief staff, General Mohammad Hadi Shadmehr, said the border region had been quiet since last evening, the radio reported. He was quoted as saying there was fighting yesterday in the Gasr-e-Shirin area in Kermanshah province but only light arms were used.

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