1999 in India

From Academic Kids

See also: 1998 in India, other events of 1999, 2000 in India and the Timeline of Indian history.


Contents

Events

January

  • January 1 - Authorities detain 45 Hindus in connection with attacks on Christians in the state of Gujarat.
  • January 23 - An Australian Christian missionary and his two sons are burnt to death by suspected Hindu fundamentalists. This aggravates a furore over attacks on churches and chapels and tarnishes the government's image within and outside the country.
  • January 30 - Tourism and Parliamentary Affairs Minister Madan Lal Khurana resigns from the cabinet over the recent violence against minority Christians. Khurana, a veteran BJP leader, says he is concerned at the loss of image the party suffered following the attacks on Christians. There has been considerable speculation that Hindu hardliners allied with the BJP have been behind the attacks.
  • January 30 - Maharashtra Chief Minister Manohar Joshi resigns on orders from Bal Thackeray, the autocratic boss of the right-wing Hindu Shiv Sena party. It is speculated that Joshi may have been fired for failing to prevent the arrest of party activists who trashed a cricket board office in protest against the India-Pakistan series. Thackeray had launched a violent campaign to prevent the series, saying the two neighbours should not hold sports events while they continue to fight over the border state of Kashmir.
  • January 31 - India and the U.S. end three days of talks on nuclear non-proliferation issues, declaring the meeting "productive" and promising to resume discussions before the middle of the year.

February-March

  • February 12 - The chief minister of Orissa, Janaki Ballabh Patnaik, resigns after pressure within and outside his Congress Party over recent mob attacks on Christians in the state. On February 15 Giridhar Gomango is named to succeed him.
  • February 12 - Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee sacks the government of Bihar, which is run by an opposition party, and imposes federal rule.
  • February 20 - Vajpayee makes a goodwill visit to Pakistan on the maiden trip of a cross-border bus service.
  • February 21 - At the end of a ground-breaking visit to Pakistan by Prime Minister Vajpayee, the two countries agree to work harder on their Kashmir dispute and announce steps to defuse tension and reduce risk of nuclear war.
  • February 24 - Actors Ajay Devgan and Kajol get married
  • February 27 - Finance Minister Yashwant Sinha unveils a budget which promises to kickstart the infrastructure sector and boost stock markets.
  • March 8 - The government reverses its decision on federal rule in Bihar to avert humiliation in a vote on the issue in the upper house.

April

  • April 3 - The AIADMK backs an opposition demand for a parliamentary inquiry into the sacking of the naval chief.
  • April 5 - The cabinet rejects an AIADMK demand for the dismissal of Defense Minister George Fernandes and the reinstatement of the navy chief. It says it is ready for a trial of strength in parliament.
  • April 6 - The AIADMK withdraws two of its representatives from the Council of Ministers.
  • April 11 - India says it has successfully test-fired a longer-range model of its Agni ballistic missile.
  • April 14 - The AIADMK withdraws support from the ruling coalition. President K.R. Narayanan asks the government to seek a confidence vote in parliament.
  • April 17 - India's 13-month-old BJP-led government falls after losing a confidence motion by just one vote.
  • April 26 - India's parliament is dissolved and early elections are called.
  • April 28 - At least 39 people die when a train rams a crowded bus in the state of Uttar Pradesh.

May-June

  • May 11 - India's Supreme Court confirms death sentences for four of the 26 people convicted of conspiring to assassinate former prime minister Rajiv Gandhi in May 1991.
  • May 17 - Sonia Gandhi resigns as head of India's main opposition Congress party after criticism from three senior colleagues. Congress expels the three for six years on May 20. She withdraws the decision on May 24.
  • May 26 - India unleashes two waves of air strikes to flush out guerrillas on its side of a Kashmir ceasefire line, sharply raising temperatures in the region. The next day India confirms it has lost two fighter jets which Pakistan says they shot down.
  • May 28 - In Kashmir, a stinger missile brings down an Indian helicopter killing all on board.
  • June 7 - India says it has forced guerrilla infiltrators in Kashmir back towards the ceasefire line with Pakistan, and killed 221 Pakistani soldiers in the offensive.
  • June 12 - India and Pakistan hold "businesslike" talks over their Kashmir dispute but fail to resolve it; India says Pakistan tried to infiltrate the Turtuk Sector and puts the death toll at 267 Pakistanis and 86 Indians.

July-September

  • July 4 - India says it has recaptured the strategic Tiger Hill on its side of a military line of control in Kashmir.
  • July 9 - In Kashmir, the Indian army reports that it has all but ousted the infiltrators from the Batalik zone on India's side of the ceasefire line.
  • Mufti Mohammad Sayeed launches the People's Democratic Party in Jammu and Kashmir.
  • July 17 - India signals the end of the flare-up with Pakistan by announcing that all infiltrators have withdrawn from Indian-held Kashmir.
  • July 26 - India says its troops have cleared all infiltrators from their side of the Line of Control that divides Kashmir.
  • August 2 - Two crowded trains collide head-on at a railway station in eastern India, killing 286 people.
  • August 10 - India shoots down a Pakistani patrol aircraft, killing 16 in a move branded as "unprovoked aggression" by Pakistan; Pakistan shoots at Indian aircraft on August 11.
  • August 15 - India says Pakistan's aid to guerrillas in Kashmir is hindering peace talks between them.
  • September 4 - Indian forces rescue five of the six men held hostage by guerrillas in Jammu and Kashmir; the other hostage was killed by the militants.
  • September 4, 11, 18, 25, and October 3 - Parliamentary elections are held, in which the National Democratic Alliance led by Prime Minister Vajpayee's BJP wins 298 seats, the Congress-led Alliance 134, and others 105.

October-December

  • October 6 - A pro-independence Kashmiri group abandons plans to march into the Indian-ruled part of the Kashmir region.
  • October 8 - India's Supreme Court turns down an appeal by four co-conspirators sentenced to die in the assassination of former prime minister Rajiv Gandhi.
  • October - Andrew Leipus is appointed physiotherapist of the Indian national cricket team.
  • October 29 - A "super-cyclone" slams into northeast India packing winds of 240 km/h and flattening houses across a wide area along the Bay of Bengal.
  • November 7 - Forty-two people die in the northern town of Sonepat after a fire in a market selling firecrackers.
  • November 11 - A bomb explodes in the Delhi-bound Puja Express from Jammu at Kandrori station, killing 13 and injuring 50.
  • November 30 - India says the death toll in cyclone-hit Orissa State is at least 9,885.
  • December 24 - Heavily armed hijackers take over an Indian Airlines Airbus carrying 189 people from Kathmandu (Nepal) to New Delhi. After a detour to the United Arab Emirates, it lands at Kandahar, Afghanistan, on December 25. On December 28 the hijackers make three demands, including the release of 35 militants and a sum of $200 million. On December 31 the hijackers, who stabbed a man on the plane to death, free their hostages after reaching agreement with India for the release of three Kashmiri militants.
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