February 26, 1981, Forty Years Ago: Pak Unrest

Pakistan’s military regime has arrested 21 more political figures bringing the number of those detained to 30, while anti-government demonstrations spread to Karachi. Five students were arrested when they set an army major’s jeep on fire. All the five are associated with a student’s organisation affiliated to the Pakistan Peoples’ Party. It was the latest outburst in more than two weeks of students’ protests and the first in the capital of Sindh province. The unrest, mostly in the northern provinces, has led to the closing down of several educational institutions. Meanwhile martial law authorities have arrested 21 political activists in Multan, Rawalpindi, Faisalabad and Lahore, where an anti-government coalition was slated to hold a meeting on February 26.

PM On Quotas

Without saying how she proposed to tackle the Gujarat anti-reservation agitation, Prime Minister Indira Gandhi said that the government has the “moral obligation” to meet the educational requirements of the backward sections of society. She, however, said that the government will ensure that no section is discriminated against. She said that social and economic advancement of the country is contingent on the development of the weaker sections. All members of the Opposition, barring those belonging to the AIADMK and DMK walked out during the PM’s speech.

MP House Boycott

CPI and Lok Dal members boycotted the Governor’s address on the inauguration day of the Budget Session of the Madhya Pradesh Assembly. They were protesting against the misuse of the NSA and the arrest of trade union leader Shankar Guha Niyogi.

No 5-day Week

The government has decided to drop the proposal to introduce a five-day week in the administrative offices of the Central government, the Minister of State for Home Affairs P Venkatasubbaih told the Lok Sabha.

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