Forty Years Ago: February 24, 1980

Kabul Rages On

Fighting between anti-Communist Muslim rebels and Soviet and Afghan troops continued for the second day on a reduced scale, after yesterday’s clashes which left hundreds dead and several thousand injured, according to hospital sources. A western diplomat who picked up an injured man in the street and took him to Joumouriet Hospital counted more than 50 bodies lined up on the floor for burial.

Jagjivan Talks On

The meeting called by Jagjivan Ram to consult his 200-odd supporters, mostly defeated Janata Party MPs, to review their association with the Janata Party will continue tomorrow. Talking to newsmen, after today’s meeting, Ram said that the “response to his invitation was very good”. Asked to sum up the trend of discussion after his own speech, he said that “there were suggestions for formation of a new party, for reviving the CFD and even for reforming the Janata Party. Everybody said that I should be authorised to take a decision”.

Assam Foreigners

The Union home minister, Zail Singh, expressed the hope that his discussions for a viable formula on the foreigners issue in Assam would yieid “fruitful results”. He told a press conference at Raj Bhavan in Delhi that a “basis” had already been found for a permanent solution to the problem of illegal entry of foreigners in the state. But he said that the disclosure of such “basis” at this stage of discussions would not be conducive.

Singh said that the Centre had decided to evolve suitable machinery to detect and deport foreigners from Assam. Government and opposition leaders of Meghalaya who met him also stressed the need to check the further inflow of foreign nationals which threatened the basic fabric of the tribal way of life, Singh said.