Forty Years Ago, February 19, 1981: Delhi Hooch Tragedy

In another major tragedy in the capital, eight persons, including five women, died after consuming illicit liquor on February 15 in their jhuggis in Gautam Nagar, near Yusuf Sarai. Four others have been admitted to hospital in a critical condition. Three persons have been arrested in this connection. They are two local dealers — Om Prakash and Satish, who have jhuggis in the same settlement — and a shopkeeper of South Extension, Vinay Kumar. According to the police, Kumar supplied spirit to the other two without a permit on February 15. The police, in an attempt to hush up the tragedy, did not inform the press till this evening when news reached certain newspapers.

DESU Resignations

Power engineers of Punjab, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh and Delhi will continue their work-to-rule agitation following no tangible response from the PM at a meeting with her. Soon after the meeting of the All-India Power Engineers Federation with Mrs Gandhi, the Northern India Power Engineers Federation was decided that the engineers of the Delhi Electric Supply Undertaking will submit their mass resignations on February 25 to press their demand for an integrated time-bound pay scale.

Assam Talks

Prospects for resumption of dialogue between the Centre and Assam agitation leaders have improved following AASU’s announcement that it was ready for unconditional talks. The Home Ministry is expected to respond by sending a fresh invitation within a few days. The AASU leaders have assured the Centre of its “positive response” if they are invited for talks. According to sources, the Centre favours only bipartite talks and would keep the opposition away.

Rajasthan Ministry

Four cabinet ministers and five ministers of state were sworn into the Rajasthan ministry at Raj Bhavan in Jaipur. This raises the strength of the Congress-I ministry in the state to 21 — eight ministers, seven ministers of state and six deputy ministers.

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