Saturday, December 9, 2000,
Chandigarh, India



The opportunity in Kashmir

THIS has reference to your editorial, “The opportunity in Kashmir”(Nov 24).

The proxy war raging in Kashmir is eleven years old now. Countless innocent people are being killed in cross-border terrorism, being aided and abetted by Pakistan. The minority religious group - the Kashmiri Pandits - have been practically driven away from the valley. A dialogue with Pakistan is possible only in an atmosphere of give and take and mutual trust.

India’s unilateral suspension of anti-militancy operations during the holy month of Ramzan is a gesture made in this spirit. It is now for Pakistan to respond positively. The intention behind India’s action is to ultimately bring permanent peace in Kashmir through dialogue. Though Islamabad had not responded positively to peace initiatives by India in the past, the Prime Minister, Mr Atal Behari Vajpayee, has once again made a peace gesture.

It is heartening to note that some militant groups have welcomed India’s gesture, though a few others, supported by Pakistan, have not. It is time Islamabad realised that its proxy war in Kashmir is making it diplomatically unpopular in the eyes of the world. Even the United States has conveyed this message to Pakistan.


It is in the interest of Pakistan and its people that Islamabad sees the writing on the wall and stop its nefarious activities in the Kashmir valley.


Civil liberties in AP

The recent gruesome murder of well known civil liberties activist Purushottam in broad daylight on the streets of Hyderabad is yet another reminder of the grim state of human rights and civil liberties in Andhra Pradesh.

This is the fifth in a series of murder during the last 16 years, targetting office bearers of the AP Civil Liberties Committee, after Dr Ramanadham, Lakshma Reddy, Gopi Rajanna and Prabhakar Reddy.

In each of the earlier cases, citizens’ fact finding committees have repeatedly highlighted the state-sponsored nature of these killings with compelling evidence, but successive governments at the state and Centre excelled in their Machivelliean cover up tactics.

Even in the present case, the police suddenly appeared from nowhere within minutes of the murder as if they were waiting for it to happen, only to hurriedly remove the body and other evidence from the scene of the crime!

Unfortunately, the indifference and incompetence of the courts and NHRC have only deepened the human rights crisis in the state. Ironically, the government honours films such as “Ankuram”, which depict such incidents, with awards, but greets the real incidents with bullets.


Why blame LTTE?

Mr T.V. Rajeshwar has crticised DMK, MDMK and PMK for their sympathies for the LTTE, in his article “The Veerappan saga” .

There cannot be any valid reason for anyone to blame LTTE, except that they killed Rajiv Gandhi, who happened to be the Prime Minister of India. The LTTE, had never harmed India and its people till that time.

As a matter of fact India was guilty of turning a blind eye to the plight to Tamils in Sri Lanka which gave birth to LTTE.


Question of dharma

I agree with your views that Mr Chautala should have ensured that the DGP, Mr SPS Rathore, resigned as soon as he was named in the Ruchika molestation case for propriety sake. The DGP being the head of the law and order machinery in Haryana could influence the investigations into the case and it was Mr Chautala’s duty to ensure that he couldn’t do so.

But how can one expect justice and fairplay from a Chief Minister who had been in the news for the Meham mayhem and the reign of terror he and his family members let loose on the hapless voters of the constituency.


Ruchika case

I have been following the day to day reporting of Ruchika case with keen interest. But for the initiative by Madhu and her husband Prakash and media’s fullest and responsible cooperation, the case would not have seen light of the day. Your paper deserves the fullest praise in this regard.




Kind villagers

Punjab, nay the country, owes a debt of gratitude to the villagers of Jeewanpura for rendering every help to the victims of the train mishap near Fatehgarh Sahib.

But for their timely assistance in extricating the injured, the loss of life would have been manifold. Not only that, the bereaved relatives of the rail tragedy were fed and looked after by the villagers. Now they have arranged Akhand Paths for peace of the departed souls.



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