Train blasts: security lapse proves costly

I share the concerns in the editorial, “Cruel and shameful” (Feb 20). It is really very tragic and heart-rending to know that 68 men, women and children were roasted alive in “the moving inferno” of the Samjhauta Express bound for Lahore last Sunday near Panipat.

Under the impact of the improvised explosive devices (IED), the bogies had actually melted and taken away so many precious lives. I share the editorial’s genuine concern, “if the terrorists can target such a high-profile train with impunity, no other train is really safe”. This horrible incident has actually sent shivers down the spine of millions of common people in our country who have to travel by train everyday.

No doubt, there were serious security lapses which facilitated the target and the conspiracy of the terrorists. This diabolical act on the part of the terrorists is certainly aimed at derailing the peace process between India and Pakistan. Shouldn’t India and Pakistan wake up now?




It is now clear that there is no ‘samjhouta’ (compromise) between peace and terrorism. It is perhaps the first time that citizens of both India and Pakistan fell victim to terrorism. Clearly, the time has come for both countries to intensify efforts on the joint anti-terror mechanism and not to blame each other.

It would be much better if both countries tackled terrorism in a more realistic manner. Particularly for us, we can no longer pretend that nothing is wrong from within and everything is fomented from across the border. No doubt, we should draw comfort from the fact that both countries have shown remarkable restraint in handling the situation.

However, one wonders how many more lives will be lost due to the failure of the safety measures by our security staff and when will the government act firmly against terrorism.

The loss of 68 people in the train blasts was painful, but still the terror attack has strengthened India and Pakistan’s resolve to continue with the peace process and I am sure it will continue.



Some RPF personnel and Railway employees are making the job of the terrorists, domestic and international, much easier by sleeping during the duty hours, especially in the nights in the trains. This problem is endemic throughout the country and almost all the trains including the Rajdhani Express trains.

Immediate discontinuation of this practice could severely discourage the terrorists from causing terrible tragedies like the one near Panipat.

R.P. RAMMOHAN, Hyderabad (AP)


With so many security lapses, the tragedy was waiting to happen. The only surprising aspect is why did Pakistan’s ISI-sponsored Islamic jihadis take so long to attack the train? By indulging in this heinous crime, the Islamic jihadis have shown that taking advantage of the policy of appeasement of Muslims, pursued by successive Indian governments, they can strike anywhere, anytime at their will.

This act against humanity should also open the eyes of those who are striving to improve the bilateral relations without understanding the ground realities. The hard fact is that the hardcore Pakistani mullhas and moulvis along with the Pakistani Army would never allow Pakistan to have friendly relations with India. Even the US would not like this to happen. So India should fight the Islamic jihadis and teach them a lesson.

A.K.SHARMA, Chandigarh


Lackadaisical attitude on the part of the Home and Railway ministries was very much evident last Sunday. The authorities concerned did not bother to provide safety to the passengers though it was a passport-related passenger train. Nor did security personnel check the train before it left Delhi railway station. Hopefully the authorities will learn a lesson from the tragedy and be more careful in the future.


Shift Science Day to Nov 7

India celebrates National Science Day on February 28. This is the day in 1928 when Sir C.V. Raman did his experimental work that fetched him the Nobel Prize for Physics two years later.

Experience has shown that the date is not convenient at all. Most students are busy with their board examinations and the celebrations are seen as an unwelcome diversion. Also, since everybody is celebrating, there is tremendous pressure on the organisers to find suitable chief guests and speakers.

To get the best out of the occasion, we should shift the day to Raman’s birthday on November 7. Also, it would be better to have a full science week rather than confining it to a day. One could, in fact, begin on Raman’s birthday and close on Nehru’s (Nov 14).


Set an example

Icons and celebrities like Amitabh Bachchan should set an example of simplicity. But the Big B is doing that about which the great poet Sahir Ludhianvi has said:

Ik Shehenshah Ne Daulat Ka Sahara Lekar
Ham Gharibon Ki Muhabbat Ka Udaya Hai Mazaq


Impractical solution

For solving the 50-year-old silt problem of the Sukhna lake, the Chandigarh Administration is on the verge of adopting an extremely unusual method of desilting it in five years at a cost of over Rs 50 crore. No silt expert will recommend this impractical solution. The dumping of the waste silt will require land equal in size of two lakes costing over Rs 1,000 crore. There is no provision for such land in the Master Plan of the City Beautiful. Efforts made to get this scheme dropped have failed.

I appeal to the Punjab and Haryana High Court to take suo motu action and direct the Chandigarh Union Territory Administration to adopt an alternative method of constructing a silt excluder. This silt excluder, endorsed by the Institution of Engineers, Chandigarh, will cost less than Rs one crore. It can be made ready before the next monsoon season to save this unfortunate lake from yet another installment of yearly silt deposit.

S.P. MALHOTRA, Chandigarh



HOME PAGE | Punjab | Haryana | Jammu & Kashmir | Himachal Pradesh | Regional Briefs | Nation | Opinions |
| Business | Sports | World | Mailbag | Chandigarh | Ludhiana | Delhi |
| Calendar | Weather | Archive | Subscribe | Suggestion | E-mail |