Saturday, September 13, 2003, Chandigarh, India

National Capital Region--Delhi



Security forces need our moral support

IT has become a ritual for most people and politicians to blame our security forces and intelligence agencies for every terrorist attack in the country. They do not realise the fact that the security forces are battling with a faceless and ruthless enemy in the most difficult and challenging circumstances.

The enemy, aided and abetted by Pakistan’s ISI and fanatic militant organisations, is engaged in a proxy war. Clearly, it has an advantage of the choice of target in a vast country like ours. It would be difficult for one to evolve a foolproof methodology to completely ward off the nefarious designs of the terrorists. The political parties and the media should be more sympathetic and considerate towards the security forces.

The recent achievements of our forces in eliminating some dreaded terrorists including Gazi Baba, and identifying the culprits in the Mumbai blasts should have been applauded and rewarded by the people in general and politicians in particular. Our forces have saved the country from a major disaster by recovering huge quantity of deadly explosives, AK-47 rifles and other ammunition in Delhi, Kolkata and Mumbai. It is the duty of every Indian to give moral support and encouragement to the security forces. Meaningless criticism and irresponsible utterances will erode their morale.

J.K. MAGO, Panchkula


Spurious milk

Apropos of your editorial “Milking the consumer” (Sept 4), consuming spurious milk made from urea and other deadly chemicals is a far more serious health hazard than even contaminated soft drinks. Milk is consumed daily in one form or the other by almost the entire population whereas soft drinks are used occasionally, that too, by a small percentage of people.

Preparation and selling of synthetic milk is a deliberate act of crime while contamination in the soft drinks may well be a case of unintentional negligence. The racket of spurious milk, therefore, deserves greater attention of the government and the media. Prompt and stern action should be taken against the perpetrators of this heinous crime.

Meanwhile, big and reputed sweet makers in Jalandhar and Ludhiana, who are reportedly receiving bulk supply of milk and khoya from some UP vendors, should voluntarily suspend preparation and sale of milk based sweets for some time till the racket is busted, if only to save their own reputation.

Wg-Cdr C.L. SEHGAL (retd), Jalandhar


News about urea milk and bride bazar have almost come together. However, while there was great response to bride bazar, no one commented on urea milk. Anyway, although claimed to be the first of its kind, urea milk was reported in The Tribune in 1994 for the first time, when Mr K.K. Sharma, the then Senior Superintendent of Police of Kurukshetra caught a group manufacturing urea milk red-handed.

The culprits were challaned. However, I do not know the present status of the case. Maybe, The Tribune can enlighten the public on the present status of the case.

M.K. BHARDWAJ, Chandigarh

Who will bell the monkeys?

The report “Monkey menace in Shimla” (Sept 1) failed to highlight the extent to which the lives of the residents have become miserable. Monkey bite cases have outnumbered dog bites. Ladies and children cannot go out for shopping. Tourists seem unable to visit the Jakhoo temple as monkeys take away their spectacles, purses, fruits and what not.

Some localities have become a permanent resort for the monkeys. Here they scream and howl during the night and it has become difficult for the residents to have undisturbed sleep. The number of monkeys has been increasing in geometric progression and some immediate measures should be evolved to curb this menace.

Some residents are themselves responsible for the menace as they throw away the garbage in the open, attracting the attention of the monkeys. Further, the people are in the habit of feeding the monkeys with lots of gram and other foodstuffs. For instance, bus drivers feeding monkeys with bread, food stuffs etc., on the highway is a common sight.

The authorities concerned should try to find some solution like sterilisation to reduce the number of the monkeys. At the same time, the people should also try to throw the garbage only in the garbage bins provided by the municipal corporation.

V.K. SHARMA, Shimla


Pertinent questions

The questions raised by Mr Ravinder Singh in his letter (Sept 4) are highly pertinent and merit a serious debate. A cursory survey of cases of matrimonial disputes pending in various courts, particularly those in Punjab and Haryana, would reveal that a vast majority of them are targeted at the wealth or property of the boys (or their parents) or if they happen to be government servants, their salaries, no matter whether the girl herself is earning or not, because the provisions of Section 498 A and 406 are so harsh and biased against men that they tempt even girls (or their parents) who would perhaps otherwise not resort to such extreme steps as getting their in-laws and husbands put behind bars.

Incidentally, arrests and the news of the police action on the “offending” boys is reported by almost all newspapers. But they do not report the fact that convictions under the above sections of law are very rare and the complainants go unpunished even when the complaints proved to be false.

The Hindu Marriage Act needs to be reviewed to meet the ends of justice. In its present form, it encourages a sort of reverse discrimination against innocent boys. Dowry is bad. Dowry is illegal, yes. But why are the unabashed and totally illogical demands raised by working girls and their parents, before divorce, condoned?

Prof MOHAN SINGH, Amritsar

CSD canteens

The Punjab government has withdrawn sales tax on the canteen items. I do not know why it had imposed this tax in the first place. The issue in question is the poor functioning of CSD canteens. Canteen items are either issued to unauthorised persons or sold in excess of the normal requirement to authorised persons.

At present, there is no limit on the purchase of canteen items of daily use. As a result, anybody can buy any item from the canteen. One can even buy some items for which he has no entitlement. Many people use the canteen cards of friends and relatives as there is no strict check on the identity of the card holders. The officers who are running the canteen will have to ensure that it is exclusively used for the benefit of the former and serving defence personnel.

A CSD canteen is not a profit concern. The very purpose of a canteen will be defeated if it is treated so. All the entries of sales should be entered in the canteen cards like that of the entry of liquor. The extent of purchase every month should also be recorded for various categories of ex-servicemen.


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