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50 YEARS OF INDEPENDENCE

TERCENTENARY CELEBRATIONS
M A I L B A G

Kalam’s decision on Dhananjay a deterrent

President A.P.J. Abdul Kalam has taken an exemplary decision by rejecting Dhananjay’s mercy plea. It’s time we started taking the gruesome and heinous crimes like rape seriously. Had Dhananjay been let off, it would have set a bad precedent. In fact, this is a lesson to the criminals who feel that they can get away with anything by hook or by crook.

Dhananjay deserves double punishment as he not only put a minor girl to death but more importantly he outraged her modesty by surpassing all barriers of morality and ethics.

R. RANA, Principal, State Public School, Nakodar

II

Dhananjay is accused of committing three crimes simultaneously. First, he forcibly entered the house of a teenager. Secondly, the girl was raped. And thirdly, she was done to death mercilessly. Thus, the Supreme Court awarding him the death penalty was right on all courts.

President A.P.J. Abdul Kalam has rightly rejected his mercy petition. Dhananjay does not deserve any sympathy, support or favour from anyone as the charges levelled against him are proved beyond doubt.

However, Dhananjay’s imminent execution may hardly matter as it will not assuage the feeling of pain, sorrow, anguish and deep mental agony the parents of the deceased girl suffered in the last 14 years.

 

 

NIRMAL KUMAR, Panchkula

III

In his article “To hang or not to hang” (July 30), J. Sri Raman wants to create new castes dividing the criminals and the victims into various categories, forgetting that a criminal is a criminal who deserves punishment according to law, while a victim is entitled to all the protection of the state. A society whose goal is to have a casteless, egalitarian society cannot countenance such anti-social propositions.

As regards Dhananjay’s case, if he has spent 14 years in jail, he has had the benefit of 14 years extended life. Moreover, this stay in jail was on account of his own choice as he did not accept the verdict readily and went on challenging it repeatedly.

Death sentence is constitutional as pronounced by the Supreme Court. The crime committed by Dhananjay is so heinous and revolting that even if he were hanged more than once, the ends of justice would still remain unserved.

What other countries do in the matter of retaining or abolishing death penalty is their concern. We are not to ape others. We have to keep in mind the situation prevailing in our own country, where the criminals appear to be on a killing spree. It is noteworthy that 85,000 murders were committed during 1974-78. The latest figures must be much more alarming.

Thus, the law should be amended so that death is the normal sentence for murder, and life imprisonment only in special extenuating circumstances. In fact, the law should be so deterrent and sure that the moment a man thinks of killing another, noose should appear before him like an apparition.

RAM SARAN BHATIA, Dist. & Sessions Judge (retd), Faridabad

IV

J. Sri Raman’s article makes a sad reading. The use of extreme language on every point, against everyone else, is bad. Having a different viewpoint on capital punishment or human rights of the criminals hardly entitles one to ridicule others’ views.

The writer’s taking on the middle class, in particular, is uncalled for. Using words like “middle class outrage”, “whipping up hysteria” or “clamour for hanging” when victims belong to the “holy middle class” and raking up the Billa-Ranga case in an insensitive manner is unfortunate, to say the least.

If the writer wanted to build up a case to support his viewpoint on abolition of capital punishment, I am afraid, he has gone about it the wrong way.

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

Hostage crisis

The abduction of three Indians by Iraqi militants is a matter of serious concern. The crass mindset the kidnappers exhibited by killing Pakistan’s two hostages is shocking. The Government of India should explore every possible method to secure the prompt and safe release of the three hostages.

However, I deplore what some local people of Una had done in retaliation. I understand their sentiment as two hostages belong to Una, but the manner in which they harassed some foreigners is equally disgusting. What is the difference, then, between those insensitive militants and our so-called law-abiding citizens?

There is no denying that the residents of Una, the families of the victims in particular, have been under trauma for the past few days. But the people should not have taken the law into their own hand and harass the foreigners in the so-called land of gods and goddesses.

Dr VINOD K. CHOPRA, Hamirpur (HP)

Police stations sans phones

Mahilpur is an important police station. It caters to the needs of over 100 villages in Hoshiarpur district. It has two sub-police stations (chowkis) at Kot-Fatuhi and Ajnoha. Surprisingly, all the three police stations are without telephones, causing great inconvenience to the villagers. It is said that the said telephones have been disconnected due to the non-payment of the bills.

Whom should the villagers contact in case of emergency at nights? The Senior Superintendent of Police, Hoshiarpur and the Director-General of Police, Punjab, should take appropriate action immediately and get the telephone lines restored.

K. SOHAN PAUL SINGH, Panjaur (Hoshiarpur)

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