COLOMBO: Akali leader Sant Fateh Singh rejected today [Jan 25] Indian Premiers pleas and decided to begin fast unto death tomorrow. The Sant will immolate himself on Feb 1. He sent final message to the Premier stating that the decision to burn himself was firm and final.

The fast begins at 10 am in Amritsar tomorrow in protest against the “callous attitude of the Indian Government in not doing justice towards Punjab by giving Chandigarh to it”. Meanwhile, the Indian Government leaders are in a fix about the fast deteriorating situation and are making arrangements to rush a contingent of the Indian Army to face any eventualities both in Punjab and Haryana.

PPI adds: Prime Minister Indira Gandhi discussed the controversial Chandigarh issue with the opposition leaders at a specially-convened two-hour meeting in New Delhi this afternoon.

All-India Radio monitored in Karachi said that the majority of opposition leaders, including Mr Abdullah Koya of the Muslim League, favoured Chandigarh’s merger with the Punjab and payment of adequate compensation to Haryana to build a new capital. Addressing the meeting, Mrs Gandhi said, according to the Radio, that it was difficult to take a decision on Chandigarh in the face of threats.

Published in Dawn, January 26th, 2020