|E D I T O R I A L
P A G E
Wednesday, July 7, 1999
KOSOVO TO KASHMIR
is the real serial killer?
Communal disturbance at Hapur
PSUs: perennial football
ENGLISHMEN often complain that everyone talks about the weather but no one does anything about it. Substitute the phrase restructuring of the public sector undertaking for weather and the complaint becomes very valid in India. Politicians, bureaucrats and economic commentators often passionately plead for restructuring the PSUs, without intending to take even the tentative first step. Delhi went through the charade once again on Monday when FICCI brought together the Union Industry Minister and a blunt-speaking member of the Disinvestment Commission for a face-to-face interaction. The theme was restructuring of the PSUs, but funnily there was no representative of any public sector unit, nor anyone from the private sector or trade unions. As a result, the two worthies talked at each other and then went their way.
The Minister read out a speech his secretary had written for him, in which he had referred to the several aspects of restructuring, not confined to capital infusion. That is fine, all theoretical assertions made during much of the nineties. But the point is about setting in motion the process and selecting those undertakings that are sure to emerge as winners. Of this there was thundering silence. If the Minister was vague and his views were shapeless, Mr Dipanker Basu, the other speaker, went to the other extreme. He asserted that there can be no restructuring as long as the government held a majority share in any unit, profit making or not. Redtape will strangulate all attempts to change the present sorry state of affairs. And loosening the government (read bureaucratic) hold is proving to be a nightmare, or at least very difficult. The bureaucrats being bureaucrats, also come up with ideological arguments. Public money has been pumped into these units and there is the thing called accountability. The government cannot blindly plunge into restructuring without weighing all aspects. One PSU is essential in every key industry to prevent the private units forming a cartel and fleecing the consumer.
The real reason for the
slow pace of restructuring lies elsewhere, and as always
with the government, it is left unsaid. Restructuring
spells different things to different ministries. For the
Finance Ministry it is a source of non-budgetary revenue
to narrow the fiscal deficit. So it banks solely on the
Disinvestment Commission to do its job while forcing
cash-rich ones like the IOC and Oil India to buy shares
of other units now held by the government. For the
Industry Ministry it means the loss of control over
several giant companies, with a total investment of Rs
2,50,000 crores. For the other administrative ministries,
it means the disappearance of an additional empire and a
source of influence-peddling. It is this clash of
interest, rather, self-interest, that has so far thwarted
all efforts at injecting much-needed management freedom
into the units. Holding a one-day seminar is not going to
cure this chronic illness.
Pakistan in financial straits
ONE of the factors that might have weighed on Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif to accept US President Bill Clinton's correct advice to withdraw the Pakistani army regulars and other intruders from the Indian side of the LoC in the Kargil sector must be his country's tottering economy. Without sufficient economic muscle, no country can bear the impact of a military engagement. And for a small nation like Pakistan the economic fallout of its Kargil misadventure not a full-scale war is going to prove too heavy for its resources. (India's position is entirely different because of the huge size of its economic base.) The world should not be surprised if international investors start withdrawing from Pakistan.There is every likelihood of its being declared a defaulter by many international lending institutions. The IMF has already tightened its screw as Islamabad has been flouting its guidelines one after another. It may refuse to release the $1.56 billion loan as agreed upon to prevent Pakistan's failure to honour its international financial commitments. The US House International Relations Committee has launched a move for a law to ban any kind of monetary assistance to Pakistan for different reasons. This law, which may become a reality by the middle of the current month if there are no pressures to scuttle the move, will enable the USA to squeeze Pakistan in a more effective manner. Pakistan's external debt has already crossed the level of $40 billion.
Pakistans troubles will continue to multiply now that it has been exposed as a rogue state. Then there is the American realisation, though a belated development, that Islamabad is not serious about maintaining peace in South Asia. Somehow it has ceased to have the significance it once enjoyed in the US scheme of things in this part of the world. Thus the days of Pakistan taking undue advantage of its closeness to the USA to even flout IMF guidelines have gone. The IMF and other such lending institutions will not spare Pakistan for raising its defence expenditure by 11 per cent (6 per cent of the GDP against India's mere 2.5 per cent) as shown in its 1999-2000 budget.
While painting a
horrifying picture of Pakistan, Washington's South Asia
Monitor has come out with telling statistics about an
economy firmly in the grip of a severe recession and
fiscal imbalance. Its exports and investment have slowed
down considerably. Some of Pakistan's woes might have
been caused by the US sanctions imposed after the Chagai
nuclear blasts, but its unrealistic stress on acquiring
military muscle, even at the cost of people's basic
requirements, is greatly responsible for what has been
happening to its economy. With this grim reality, any
resort to a full-scale war will be suicidal. If the
religious fanatics fail to overthrow the government of Mr
Nawaz Sharif as they have threatened for their own
foolish reasons the economic tremors emanating
from Kargil will do the job.
Apple growers in a jam
APPLE growers of Himachal Pradesh never had it so bad. After a bumper crop last year, they are having the leanest crop ever. The production is down to only 10 to 20 per cent of the normal. To make matters worse, the size of the fruit is small and the juice content is very low. The absence of rain and snow at the right time destroyed the growers' hopes. Since the State's economy depends on apples, the consequences are bound to be debilitating. But worse will be the fate of small and marginal farmers. Many of them might be wiped out. It is they who bear the brunt almost every year. Even when there is a bumper crop, prices drop so sharply that they do not benefit from their hard labour. And when it is crop failure as during this year, they are without a safety net because the State does not have a crop insurance scheme. Foreign experts who come here are surprised at the lack of infrastructure and safety mechanism. That is why the incidence of crop failure is five to six times higher here than in countries in the developed world. India is one of the few countries where apple-growing continues to be at the mercy of weather gods. The draught and disease-hit farmers have to eke out a living with great difficulty. The result is that for every farmer who is well to do, there are at least 10 who lead a hand-to-mouth existence. What a pity that the apple bowls called Kotgarh and Kotkhai are not able to put even two square meals in the bowls of their growers. That is a crying shame because with scientific methods, their income can be increased manifold. That in a way is the tragedy of all farmers. So uncertain is their future that many of them compare farming with gambling.
In the frustrating
situation, there are some who have found fault with the
Union Government's decision to put apples on the Open
General Licence (OGL) list. Several leaders have sought a
ban on the import of apples from Australia and New
Zealand. This demand would have been understandable in a
year when there was a bumper crop and a glut in the
market. But when a sufficient quantity of apples is not
available, a ban on their import would be a recipe for
sending their prices skyhigh. It is a question of
watching the interests of the users also. Instead, what
is needed is a comprehensive package for the farmers,
which can free them from the shackles of uncertain
FROM KOSOVO TO KASHMIR
DURING the peak period of terrorism in Punjab I remember to have written an article, From Amritsar to Colombo, whose theme was to explore the nature of armed separatist movements and their changing contexts and hence their moral overtones. For clearly, when we examine a terrorist-led minority from a long distance, as uninvolved spectators, we see such a state of bloodshed and mayhem in one way, but when the plague touches ones soil and life, the perspective often undergoes a radical change.
In fact, even in Punjab itself, when the menace of militancy had taken a grim turn inviting state terrorism, equally, if not more, brutal and ruthless, the two communities whose symbiotic relationship seemed to have sealed an everlasting love over centuries began to see Operation Bluestar and the Punjab tragedy from different ends of the telescope. I find something of that nature in the Kosovo crisis, where NATO had unleashed a war against Belgrade with one kind of worked-up moral dream, and where the Serbs, finding an ethnic minority resorting to sustained armed conflict against a countrytheir home for centuries for their own brutal compulsions, had started rounds of unwarranted violence and ethnic cleansing.Here, then, we have again a tragedy of parallel perceptions to ponder and agonise over.
Where does one draw the line, then, faced with a strong nationalist sentiment that is often as sacred and as lethal as the religious sentiment in full cry? Each can be brought to a boil by any kind of assault on its dignity or identity. Indeed, the tragedy is compounded and complexified when there is a symbiosis between these two powerful human urges or drives.
To understand, then, the irrational side of the Kosovan crisis, one needs to know something of the long hinterland of history involving the conquest of territories and, ultimately, of a section of the subdued natives through the crusading sword. Over a long period of time, the primal cause is lost, and the converted communities do genuinely begin to see their selves as separate, distinct nation, though thats a falsification both in conceptual and geo-political terms. (Indeed, thats the misbegotten concept which continues to govern the Pakistani mindset).
To return, then, to that forgotten page of Kosovan history, one may see in perspective the making of this tragedy. An Albanian minority that had embraced Islam under Turkish rule, and become over a long period of time a part of the Yugoslavian nation of multi-racial communities had, like so many similar separatist movements as in Sri Lanka, in Kashmir, in Spain, in Ireland, to name a few has finally taken up arms to carve out an independent Kosovo. Now for the Serbs who dominate the republic, it may be recalled, hold Kosovo in great esteem, believing it to be the piece of land where their race had begun its long journey in history. In short, a kind of holy land much in the manner of the Israelis. Though reduced to a significant minority, the Serbs continued to regard Kosovo as an inalienable part of their country. They were, after the break-up of the Soviet Union and the consequent fall of the Communist regimes in Europe A domino effect compelled to give up Croatia, Macedonia and a part of Muslim Bosnia after a terrible human tragedy, but where Kosovo was concerned, it had roused the Serb corporate consciousness into a state of holy wrath. Its break-away just couldnt be even considered. It would mean an unpardonable blow to the Serb pride and the Slav soul. Yes, a good measure of autonomy (such as J&K in India has enjoyed since Independence in varying degrees), but a No with a thunder where the question involved complete irreversible separation.
That the NATO (read American) aggression was unleashed in the garb of human rights protection was to showing a moral fig-leaf to convince the world outside of the American hegemony or empire of imposed opinions. Why does, one may ask, America remain on most friendly terms with certain Arab monarchies, Latin American dictatorships and Asian-African tyrannical, propped-up puppet regimes where the history of liberty and human rights is too disgraceful to need any proof. There, as you know, American interests is the issue the sale of arms worth hundreds of billions of dollars each year, the huge trade and economic benefits, the stationing of American troops on those soils outposts of a new imperialism, and never has an American President or Congress even thought of raising a little dust over the human rights issue, let alone unleash missiles and bombs. The American duplicity and the sheer hypocrisy of its principal stooge, Great Britain (under a Labour government, above all!), are appalling when we ponder the problem in world perspective.
I am personally much distressed in showing up the ugly face of Uncle Sam, for in my long connection with that country in terms of literary and academic affinities, of staying under American roofs and enjoying the freedoms and bounties of American life in good measure I cannot but agonise over what is happening in Kosovo, and may happen in Kashmir if, at any stage, the American foreign policy, unmindful of consequences, succumbs to the temptation. It is an unlikely contingency now, particularly after the Kargil crisis, but political horizons can change colour anytime, and invite trouble. Nevertheless, the noises coming out of Washington and its satellites are no real guarantee, and India would do well to remain on diplomatic, military and moral alert. America, we feel, will not be in the end so foolish as to push India that far over the Kashmir issue, but it can exact economic, nuclear, defence and other concessions under some kind of veiled threats, if and when it suits its hegemonic needs.
With the Russians outraged but helpless, and the Chinese incensed and ready after the destruction of their embassy in Belgrade, and the rest of the right-thinking world dismayed, the US think machine would have to battle its way out of this mess. America has already made the UN an irrelevant, unwanted body on its soil and in a manner, slighted the world community and it is time for the American media and academics to come right into the picture. The American intellectual tradition, despite its pitiful ambiguities en route, still remains powerful enough in its art and letters.
Now that a most troubled peace has been imposed by NATO, we are witnessing something of a reverse revenge tragedy in Kosovo under the nose of the NATO troops. It is the Serbs who are now being driven out of their land, their homes and hamlets looted and torched. This peace of the graveyard cannot but cause a great conflagration in the Balkans once again if a just solution based on the rightful aspirations of both the warring communities is not hammered out in the near future.
Meanwhile, the Chinese, Russian and Indian indignation over the American dream of creating a unipolar world under its hegemony, bypassing the UN, has already produced the right movement for a geo-political nexus to counter the NATO designs in other parts of the world. There are already loud hints about such a plan from persons in high positions in the three big countries.
In sum, India should
proclaim it as vigorously and loudly as it can that it
would never allow Kashmir to be turned into a Kosovo, for
all the putative points of resemblance in the
geo-political sense. Pakistan for the first time since
its misconception and creation stands isolated, almost
cornered as a potential terrorist state. It should not be
permitted to get off the hook without a price on
Indias record before Kargil
INDIA has fought five wars since Independence and won four of them. This is the reply to those doubters who ask what would be the result of the Kargil war. We were never war-mongers. Each of these wars was thrust upon us.
To start with the dawn of the era of freedom, 1947 was the year of our Independence; also it was the year of the beginning of the Kashmir war. We were faced with the chaos of Partition; the influx of 6 million refugees and their rehabilitation a gigantic problem, unprecedented in history. Pakistani soldiers and raiders sought to grab Kashmir. The aggressors had a field day. Facing no opposition, they advanced to within a distance of four and a half miles of Srinagar, then the only link Kashmir had with India and that too by air. The road link via Jammu came after some time. The Indian government got awakened almost at the twelfth hour. The Indian Army contingents were air-lifted to Srinagar and Kashmir was saved. On January, 1, 1948, we declared ceasefire. One week more for the Army and the whole of Kashmir would have been cleared of the raiders. There would be no Kashmir problem left.
But as always, India wins a war but loses peace. Are we too generous, too gentlemanly? Are we overpowered by the thought that the enemy must be allowed to save his face? This is particularly true of the 1971 war when India achieved a history-making victory. After that victory the Kashmir and related problems would have been wiped out. But we returned some significant conquered territories along with the POWs numbering over 90,000.
We could have found a Hyderabad-type solution to the Kashmir problem. The Nizam of Hyderabad toyed with the idea of independence. An independent country of Hyderabad would have been a constant dagger pointed out at the belly of India. But on September 13, 1948, Sardar Patel (who had merged 500-600 states in India without a war) marched his armies and in just 5 days the Hyderabad State (then as big as France) lay flat and the Nizam signed the deed of surrender, merging his state in India.
Of course, Pakistan and its Western patrons along with the UN made the usual noises (very strong ones on this occasion), but India presented the world with fait accompli. The whole of the India was thrilled with this magnificent victory. The Hyderabad problem disappeared, forever.
The third trial of our strength came in the shape of the China war in 1962. It was most unexpected, for our slogan was Hindi-Chinee Bhai Bhai. Could a brother stab us in the back? We had never given any thought to military preparedness.
Our role was that of peace-makers in the world. Wherever events neared a flash point, Nehru would airdash there to establish peace. Our military budget in 1962 was a joke, for Nehrus philosophy was: why waste money on engines of death and destruction? Spend them on raising the life-standards of the semi-starving millions. A noble programme indeed, but irrelevant to the world of the hard-headed politicians, who play their diabolical games. Nehrus Defence Minister Krishna Menon, also an international figure, had his extraordinariness not in devising bold military strategies but in making long speeches. His 10-hour address at the UN seems to be an unbeatable record.
Nehru died disillusioned and broken hearted.
The world has regarded us as a soft state. Our boast was that without fighting a war of independence, under Gandhijis leadership, we had won our freedom through methods of truth and non-violence. We sought to teach this lesson to the world, to rid it of war and unnecessary massacres of millions in wars. Nehru was an apostle of peace, out to set a new example to the world, as Gandhi had done in the case of the countrys independence.
We forgot a more practical lesson which the wise British had learnt here. The British won World War I and II and continued to rule over an empire over which the sun never set. It was said that Britain won the two world wars with the British brain power, American money power and Indian manpower. The Indian soldiery won impossible battles. And then they were mercenaries fighting for their British masters. Today they fight for the honour and integrity of their motherland.
In the 1962 war, our military preparedness was almost nil. China could, if it chose, march to New Delhi and annex the capital and the country. But then God intervened. China of its own accord withdrew from Indian territories and left India free.
After that came our fourth war, the war with Pakistan in 1965. Those were the days of the Cold War between the USA and the Soviet Union. Pakistan was Americas hot favourite (they had flooded it with all sorts of most modern armaments) while India with its nonalignment was dubbed wicked by US Secretary of State John Foster Dulles. Pakistan President Ayub Khan boasted: we would march sauntering to New Delhi with our military might. Still India won this war also, though Prime Minister Lal Bahadur Shastri died as a martyr to it.
Our fifth and the last
war in Bangladesh is the grandest thing we have ever
done. It led to the birth of Bangladesh, and Pakistan
lost 55 per cent of its population and territory. The
whole of India was elated in a frenzy of ecstasy. This
victory beat all records of our history. America had sent
its Seventh Fleet into the Bay of Bengal, but the iron
lady (Indira Gandhi) was not cowed down. This is our
record before Kargil.
IN 1980, during my eventful and educative one-year stay in Bombay, I developed friendship with a Japanese student who had come to India to observe solar eclipse, which was complete in some western parts of India.
He had an intense desire to see, know and experience India as much as possible during his short visit besides observing the solar eclipse. The first item in his menu was to see a Hindi movie. In those days it was Amitabh Bachchan all the way and instinctively I took him to an Amitabh movie. He could not digest all the masala in it and to my great disappointment we left the hall after some time at his instance. His curiosity also made him to taste pan (betel leaf). I ordered a sweet one for him but he spat it in a huff the next second. Left with a bitter taste in his mouth he made a sarcastic remark about pan. He tasted Indian sweets and developed a liking for them despite their high sugar contents. He also liked the salwar kurta worn by Indian girls. He tried to learn unsuccessfully Hindi numerals and alphabet and also wanted to know about Buddhism from me.
But twice the nature of his desires took me by surprise. First, when he wished to take a photograph of a steam engine. I thought that Indian steam engines must be having some special features. That is why he was interested in them. I could not suppress my curiosity and asked about it. Hearing this, he smiled faintly. This almost closed his small eyes and brightness sparked his yellowish face. He explained to me that Japan had totally stopped the use of steam engines from 1962 onwards and only diesel and electric engines were in use, which are much more efficient and productive. Therefore, he wanted to have a glimpse of a steam engine and was interested in taking its photograph.
The second desire was to buy a turban. Since childhood I had entertained the belief that a turban was worn by kings or by a bridegroom while proceeding in barat to brides home. With this perception of turban , I took him to a shop where turbans of this type were available. But he did not evince any interest in those turbans and told me that he was looking for another kind of turban. We visited a number of shops but could not locate the desired one. I was totally at a loss and could not visualise the turban of his choice. At this juncture my Japanese friend came to my rescue and as a clue told me that in Japan all the Indians wore those turbans. I had seen in photographs Indian contingents participating in the opening ceremony of the Olympics and Asian games wearing turbans. But that was only for ceremonial occasions and it could not be worn all the time. For some time I kept on guessing and with great effort somehow realised that my friend had seen Sardarjis (Sikhs) wearing turbans in Japan and he came to the conclusion that all Indians wear a turban. When I explained to him the turban he was talking about was not a readymade one but was a piece of about a seven-metre long cloth and was brought in that shape by folding it round the head, he abandoned his plan of buying it.
Following a public outcry and condemnation of the district administration for its failure to nab the killer, one person, Rajesh, was picked up. The police declared that since it had arrested the killer, now there would be peace in the town.
The claim was soon belied when after a lull of less than three months the killer resurfaced in Bahadurgarh and abducted two more girls, Pinki and Swati, on January 4 and January 9, 1996, respectively. Pinki survived a murder attempt, but Swati was raped and throttled to death.
Soon someone called Ram Babu was arrested and after custodial interrogation for a couple of days was lodged in Rohtak jail.
The jail authorities alleged that Ram Babu was mentally deranged at the time of his arrest. Therefore, he was lodged in a separate cell. He remained in judicial custody and under treatment at Rohtak Medical College jail hospital. Later, he was stoned by a jail inmate and died on the spot on August 15,1998.
The death of Ram Babu ended the story of the second real killer, as claimed by the police.
Even after the arrest of Ram Babu abductions and murders continued in Bahadurgarh and the adjoining areas, sending shock waves among the residents. During 1997 and 1998 five more girls Shanti, Manu, Komal, Aarti and Somani Saxena were abducted.
While Somani and Aarti had a providential escape, the remaining girls were raped and done to death.
Once again the public was up in arms against the district administration. This time the police arrested Shankar, a resident of Bihar, and booked him on the charge of abducting Aarti and Manu. Since he was a minor, he was committed to the Juvenile Court at Rohtak for trial.
Acquitting Shankar in the case of Manu, the Juvenile Court ruled on April 24 this year:
After carefully examining the evidence on record, I am of the view that the prosecution has failed to bring home the guilt of the delinquent. There is no evidence whatsoever to connect the delinquent with the crime. The prosecution has also failed to prove that in the intervening night of June 20 and 21, 1997, the delinquent was in the area of Bamboli Road and caused the death of Manu. The witnesses examined have not uttered anything incriminating against the accused. In these circumstances, I am of the view that the delinquent deserves to be acquitted. I order accordingly.
As for his trial for Aartis abduction, the court held three days later that the minor had stated that when she was returning home from school, she was caught by Shankar from behind. He had gagged her with a handkerchief. She recognised Shankar in the court. Surinder Singh and Satish, who had rescued the girl from the clutches of the delinquent, fully supported the prosecution case.
The statement of these witnesses are cogent, reliable and convincing. Nothing has been brought out in their cross-examination to show that they have any reason to falsely involve the delinquent in the case, observed the Magistrate. The prosecution has successfully proved that on July 10,1997, the delinquent kidnapped Aarti and, therefore, I hereby hold that the juvenile has committed the offence of kidnapping punishable under Section 363, IPC.
Having convicted him the court nonetheless observed that the delinquent had been in custody since the beginning of the trial. He was arrested on July 10,1997, and had not been released on bail. He had remained confined to the juvenile home. There was no adverse report against his conduct. No previous conviction had been proved against him.
Therefore, exercising my discretion under Section 21 of the Juvenile Justice Act, 1986, ruled the Magistrate, I allow the juvenile to go home after advice. The juvenile has been advised to keep good behaviour and good conduct in future and has been cautioned not to repeat such conduct.
The Bahadurgarh police, on its part, now feels that Shankar is innocent. The S.P. of Jhajjar, Mr M.S. Mann, said they would write to the court for discharging Shankar from the case (Mr Mann had not yet received a copy of the judgement handed down by the Juvenile Court).
The real serial killer, now claims the Bahadurgarh police, is Satish, a factory worker arrested on November 20,1998.
Satish is alleged to have confessed during his interrogation that he was involved in all the abduction and murder incidents that took place between 1995 and 1998.
Apart from his confessional statement, argues the Superintendent of Police, Satish was subjected to a lie detection test at the CBIs Central Forensic Science Laboratory in Delhi.
Dr Bibha Rani Roy of the laboratory, who conducted the test, said in her report: The lie detection test proved that he (Satish) had kidnapped and murdered a large number of girls.
The police further claims that they had sent four samples of the victims blood for a DNA test at Hyderabad. Dr G.V. Rao of the DNA Finger Printing and Diagnostics Laboratory, who conducted the test, said in his report that the semen of Satish matched the semen found on the stained clothes of seven-year-old Sheetal. She was kidnapped on July 12,1995.
Dr Rao, however, held that tests could not be conducted on the other three samples as they were highly degraded and not amenable to analysis. These samples belonged to Pinki, Swati and Manu.
In support of his claim that Satish is the real serial killer, the SP of Jhajjar asserts that the DNA test is an indisputable proof of his involvement. Moreover, no incident has taken place in Bahadurgarh and the surrounding areas since his arrest.
The SP says that Satish lived in the Line Paar area and all the incidents of crime occurred in the adjoining localities and villages. During his questioning Satish revealed that he followed a uniform pattern in committing the crime. He picked up the girls either when they were sleeping or returning home from school or at dusk. If the victims weight was not heavy, he threw her body at a distance of 1 km. But if she happened to be heavy, the body was abandoned at a distance of about 200 yards from her house.
The prosecution has completed the investigation and filed challan against Satish in the court of Mr R.K. Bishnoi, Additional Sessions Judge, Jhajjar.
But the police is now faced with a peculiar problem. If it is able to prove that Satish is the real serial killer, then there will be no way to explain how the other three persons arrested for the same cases of crime had confessed to have been involved in the murders.
Sporting a beard, 24-year-old Satish, who is lodged in Rohtak jail, claims that he is innocent and has been falsely implicated by the police. He says he was picked up by the police while returning home from the factory where he worked.
I was tortured. My legs were pulled apart. I was coerced into signing some blank papers. I do not know what the cops have written on them. I have old parents, brothers and a sister to support. Do you think I can commit such a crime? he asks.
Some of the victims parents, too, accept the latest claim of the police with a pinch of salt.
Says Mr Vishnu Bhagwan, a resident of Bahadurgarhs Aggarwal Colony, whose daughter Pinki escaped from the clutches of the killer: We have been telling the police that the killer cannot be a local man. He must be an outsider who comes here after regular intervals, commits the crime and goes back.
Similar are the views of Meena, a Nepali woman, whose five-year-old daughter Shanti was abducted and murdered.
Whether Satish is the
real serial killer or not is a question that the court
will decide. The residents of Bahadurgarh and the
adjoining areas, however, continue to remain in the grip
of fear that the killer may strike again. They do not
allow their female children to go out of their houses
after dusk. They escort their children to school every
morning and bring them back every afternoon.
disturbance at Hapur
THE following telegram, despatched by L. Ram Parshad, ex-editor, the Bande Mataram, from Meerut was received yesterday and was detained for 24 hours pending verification:-
The Mohammedans made an unprovoked assault on the Hindus at the time of the Pankha procession at Hapur on the 5th and showered brickbats from houses.
The Magistrate and the police were hit with brickbats and lathis. The Magistrate ordered firing. One man was killed and several wounded.
One mandir was burnt and
looted and another was looted. Five shops and two houses
were looted. Women were forcibly divested of ornaments.
About 20 men have been arrested and brought to Meerut.
Investigation is proceeding. Further arrests are
expected. The town now observes hartal. I am proceeding
to Hapur for details.
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