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From the archives – dated January 6, 1967

Govt. to set up panel on cow protection

The Government has decided to set up a committee to consider the demand put forward by the Sarvadaliya Goraksha Mahabhiyan Samiti for a total ban on the slaughter of cow and its progeny. The Committee will consist of representatives of the Central and State Governments and the Goraksha Samiti besides experts. A statement issued by the Government said that the Government would give the earliest consideration to the recommendations of the Committee. But the high command of the Samiti which met to-night [January 5, New Delhi] rejected the Government offer. The meeting resolved that the fasts by Sri Sankaracharya of Puri and others should continue until the Government agreed to accept in principle their demand to ban cow slaughter throughout the country. Along with the Government announcement, the Prime Minister, Mrs. Indira Gandhi, issued an appeal to Sankaracharya of Puri and others to give up their fasts and extend their co-operation to the Government. It may be mentioned that the idea of the appointment of a committee to go into the issue originated from some of the representatives of the Goraksha Samiti itself. But when the Government was favourably inclined to accept the suggestion, the Samiti demanded immediate acceptance of the principle of the total ban on cow slaughter. The Samiti also demanded that the recommendations of the Committee should be binding on the Government. Obviously the Government could not tie itself down to any particular course of action. At the same time the Government could not tie down the proposed committee also.

Nagas’ talks with P.M.

Talks between the Prime Minister, Mrs. Indira Gandhi, and the underground Naga leaders which concluded to-day [January 5, New Delhi] have been described by both sides as “a serious effort to narrow the differences”.

Neither the spokesman of the Government of India nor Mr. Z. Ramyo, who spoke for the Nagas, would elaborate on this statement. Both sides stated that the talks were “free and frank”. The spokesman of the Government of India said that the two sides “agreed to think over what has been discussed.” This is the fifth round of talks between the Prime Minister and the underground Nagas. They had two meetings with the Prime Minister and also met the Minister of State and other officials on two occasions. Informed circles suggest that the talks this time were “of a more detailed character than on the previous occasions aimed largely at finding the kind of relationship that should exist between the centre and Nagaland recognising some of the peculiarities and special position of the Nagas.” While the talks hitherto were on parallel lines, the present round seems to have given room to hope that they were converging in the same direction. The Government of India seems to have taken the initiative in spelling out what adjustments it is prepared to make in regard to Nagaland’s position so that while remaining within the Indian Union the Nagas could feel that there would be no imposition of any kind from the Centre in regard to their essential ways of living and development.

U.S. sanctions against Rhodesia

President Johnson to-day [January 5, Washington] issued an executive order imposing economic sanctions against Rhodesia. The order implemented a United Nations resolution calling for mandatory economic sanctions against the breakaway British coloney. In line with the U.N. resolution, the President’s order, effective immediately, prohibited U.S. imports of Rhodesian asbestos, iron ore, chrome, pig iron, sugar, tobacco, copper, meat and meat products, and hides, skins and leather. It also embargoes shipments of arms, aircraft, motor vehicles and petroleum and petroleum products to Rhodesia.

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