Four persons were killed in police firing and a fifth succumbed to stab wounds in a fresh spate of violence in Ahmedabad after a week’s lull since the medicos launched their anti-reservation agitation last month-end. Meanwhile, two more arrests were made under the National Security Act taking the total to five in the last two days. Indefinite curfew has been clamped on the troubled areas of Saraspur, Shahibaug and Kagrapeth.
Before Assam talks
With nothing to indicate a delay in the resumption of negotiations, there is now feverish activity behind the scenes with experts working out a set of formulae to evolve a basis for a solution to the foreign nationals problem in Assam. The government and the agitation leaders have both said that they are willing to talk without pre-conditions. And yet, none of them is keen to have a repetition of the last time such an exercise was carried out, ending in a dismal failure. That is why they have set their respective experts to smooth the more prominent of the rough edges even before the negotiations begin in right earnest so that, to quote a government official, “they are put on a springboard”. Barring the Assam government, all those with a stake in the developments are in a state of frenzied activity.
Another case of alleged police excesses on a journalist of Orissa has come to light. According to available details, Jatadbarani Rana, mofussil correspondent of a leading local daily, was arrested on February 19 by the Theodogaon (Puri district) police.
Janata Party President Chandra Shekhar has dropped Surendra Mohan and Subramanian Swamy as general secretaries in the reconstituted team of party office-bearers announced on February 22. Both have been retained in the national executive.