Rapists donít deserve any mercy

There is an important point in the ongoing debate on the issue of capital punishment. Human rights activists, mostly women, have condemned the hanging of Dhananjay Chatterjee. I feel if we women do not support deterrent punishment for rapists, who will come to our rescue?

These activists say, the state does not have the right to take a citizen's life if it cannot give life to him and that the maximum punishment for rape should be life imprisonment. But they overlook the fact that in India, life imprisonment is only for a span of 14 years. Possibly, had there been no capital punishment, Dhananjay would have escaped from the gallows. As a young student, I am strongly in favour of capital punishment as it will serve as a strong deterrent.

DEEPALI MALHOTRA, Ambala Cantonment


There is no uniformity in the dispensation of justice. On the one hand, Dhananjay was hanged and, on the other, within a week, in a similar case, the Supreme Court has commuted the death sentence of a convict from Maharashtra in the rape and murder of a four-year-old girl.



There is also the other question: why do men commit rape and whether they are psychopaths? Does the act of rape have any link to their uncontrollable libido? But surely, the act speaks of the person's flawed character, faulty upbringing, sick and deformed frame of mind.

Punishment for rapists and killers should also be uniform. The courts should follow a consistent and strict code of punishment in this regard.

JYOTI SINGH, Chandigarh


It is a matter of surprise that those who were in favour of Dhananjay's mercy petition could not think about innocent Hatel Parekh's rape and murder. If the killing of a person is inhuman, what about the crime committed by Dhananjay?

Those who sympathise with Dhananjay's family don't sympathise with Hetal Parekh's family. How can we speak in favour of a rapist and murderer? The soul of Hetal Parekh had to wait for as long as 14 years to get justice.


Stricter penalty

Apropos of the news-item "Death penalty for killing witnesses" (Aug 20), the State Law Commission has indeed thought of a novel way of ensuring convictions. But how about a penalty for marshalling false witnesses and false cases? The policemen, known to have indulged in false encounters as a short cut to "justice", cannot be averse to indulge in false cases for similar honourable, and not so honourable intent.

There is another news-item of the same date, "Two cops get life term for murder". Two constables and an accomplice get life sentence for killing in Kalka a cash-carrying furniture manufacturer of Faridabad. Three ASIs have been awarded 3-year imprisonment for helping in the crime and trying to hush up the case. They would have gone scot free if the case was not entrusted to the CBI. But the court has not considered it a "rarest of the rare" crime to award capital punishment.

The Punjab State Law Commission should recommend severe punishment for crimes committed by the police.


Lung cancer in women

According to a report in The Tribune, research by Chandigarh's Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research has revealed an increase in the incidence of lung cancer in women. It pointed out that kitchen fuel comprising kerosene oil, biogas and LPG is the main problem. I offer three suggestions to check lung cancer.

First, keeping in view the importance of cleaner fuel, we can think of electricity or solar energy. As power is in short supply and costly, the obvious choice is solar energy. It needs only one-time investment. Solar cookers and solar water heaters can be popularised if they are subsidised. This subsidy will more than compensate for the cost of medical treatment, health care and misery.

Secondly, while designing a house, kitchens get low priority. Kitchen should be well ventilated. Suitable chimneys and exhaust fans are needed. And finally, women must be educated on environmental sanitation.

Dr SHAH CHAWLA, Chandigarh

Traffic chaos

As a resident of Nawan Pind village, 8 km away from Amritsar, I would draw the attention of the district administration towards the unprecedented traffic problems created by shifting the Sabji Mandi from the city to Vallah. The problem has aggravated as the authorities had not given any thought to handle the traffic. The people are facing hardship, especially the daily commuters on this road.

Trucks and buses move on the narrow road the whole day. Non-installation of street lights at the railway crossings has complicated the problem. It has become very difficult for us to drive in the night.

AMANDEEP KAUR, Nawan Pind, Amritsar

Waiting for justice

In all, 36 condemned prisoners are reportedly confined in Bihar's Bhagalpur jail, some of them for years awaiting the final verdict on their appeals, petitions etc. There must be many like them in other jails as well. This should be a matter of concern for the powers that be.


Motherís milk

The Tribune has rightly covered Breast Feeding Week (Aug 1 to 7). It had given an informative and educative aspect of breast feeding to the young mothers on each day of the week. It is the need the hour which people may be unaware of.

Mother's milk is highly beneficial both for the mother and the child. It can keep at the bay the infections thus keeping the child and the mother healthy and satisfied.


On priority

We would be most fortunate if Dr Manmohan Singh's government takes two very important steps for the peaceful and progressive development of the country. These are population control and clearance of all court cases within six months.

J.M. SHARMA, Chandigarh

Communistsí blunder

Communists are providing the life support system to the Congress-led UPA government at the Centre. Prices of coal, petrol, diesel, and cooking gas have gone up, leading to unprecedented inflation.

Privatisation of airports and efforts to sell insurance, aviation and telecom sectors to foreign companies are in full swing by raising caps on FDI. In the insurance sector, foreign insurance companies are hitting at the very base of our companies. The unkindest cut of all is to lower the EPF interest rates from 9.5 per cent of 8.5 per cent.

Each one of these issues has been very dear to the Communist and their trade unions. Still the government is acting as if they don't need the Communists' support. Historic blunders and betrayals are a common trait of the Communists.

CHETAN SINGH, Bhadravati (Karnataka)


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