SPECIAL COVERAGE
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LUDHIANA

DELHI


THE TRIBUNE SPECIALS
50 YEARS OF INDEPENDENCE

TERCENTENARY CELEBRATIONS
M A I L B A G

Train blasts aimed at scuttling talks

The bomb blasts in the Samjhauta Express needs to be condemned. (Editorial, “Cruel and shameful”, Feb 20). This dastardly act is the handiwork of terrorist outfits who are committed to derail the process of normalisation of relations between India and Pakistan. The mad act sniffed out 68 innocent lives and left many others injured. The train blasts must be universally condemned.

The motive of targeting the Samjhauta Express was double-pronged. To sour the relations between the two neighbours and foment communal hatred. But Pakistan asserted that the train between the two nations must go on to unite the hearts on both sides of the border.

Security lapse on our part helped the terrorists to accomplish the dreaded task. The Samjhauta Express is not an ordinary train. Special checks and countercheck of passengers and their luggage are undertaken by the security and custom agencies to rule out any foul play.

But greed for bribe money took its toll and the baggage containing the explosive material was left unchecked for obvious reasons. This is all the more sad and shameful. Those responsible for the security lapse must be taken to task.

KARNAIL SINGH, Kharar


 

II

The blasts are indeed tragic as they have come at a time when India and Pakistan are making considerable progress towards settling the disputes ranging from 1947. The reaction of the governments and the people of both countries show that they have begun to understand that their strength lies in standing united.

In such circumstances, India and Pakistan, besides going ahead with the peace process, should evolve a joint strategy to flush out the terrorists from their hideouts.

IQBAL SINGH SAROYA, Mohali

III

The bomb blasts in the Samjhauta Express would have been prevented had there been tight security both at the Old Delhi Railway Station and in the train in question. The Centre has all the intelligence inputs about the threat perception and the Pakistani ISI terrorist outfits working in the country. Yet, it failed to take foolproof security measures. The result: the bomb blasts that claimed the lives of 68 passengers.

The Ministry of Railways has disbursed lakhs of rupees to the next of the kin of the deceased. However, nothing will compensate the loss of the near and dear ones of the people of both countries in the avoidable tragedy.

Dr RAJAN MALHOTRA, Palampur

Delightful divergence

The middle on the Edit Page, “When cupid strikes” (The Tribune, Feb 25), by Donald Banerjee is a delightful divergence.

Our national newspapers are so full of bad-news-today with a forecast of bad-news-tomorrow that an occasional memoir of yesteryear written with feeling and humour makes it worthwhile to go through the morning newspaper! Keep it up.

FALI S. NARIMAN, New Delhi

Cringing flattery

I was surprised to see the photograph (Feb 8) showing Punjab Finance Minister and Congress candidate from Amritsar, Surinder Singla, making fawning obeisance to the AICC president, Sonia Gandhi. Apparently, Sonia Gandhi did not bother to acknowledge Singla’s gesture reverential gesture and looked towards another side.

Many Congress leaders used to bow before Indira Gandhi like slaves. Former Congress president Dev Kanth Barooah earned the sobriquet of her Durbari Maskhara (court jester) by his ludicrous remarks “Indira is India”.

At a rally in Jind, Haryana Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda described Sonia Gandhi as “a holy stream of the Ganga in the polluted politics”. Once the late BJP leader Pramod Mahajan compared Atal Bihari Vajpayee with Jesus Christ as both shared the same date of birth - December 25.

BHAGWAN SINGH, Qadian

Relief for elders

A relief of Rs 100 a month is granted as medical allowance to retired Central government pensioners when CGHS facilities are not available. This amount is quite inadequate to meet the medical expenses.

Even an ordinary nursing home doctor charges Rs 50 a visit for consultation. The cost of medicines is touching the sky. Pray review of the same in the coming Union Budget. The Left parties have also advocated the same and brought it to the attention of Union Finance Minister P. Chidambaram.

M.R. DUA, Panipat

Irrelevant provision

A close reading of the new IT Form 2F reveals that the information sought vide Schedule 5 is neither needed nor used to assess one’s income-tax. Inclusion of this schedule in the IT returns is thus irrelevant.

Further, the provision is discriminatory as the information is sought to be collected only from the taxpayers and not non-taxpayers who do not file any returns. Now that the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Finance has also expressed its reservations on this provision, the government would do well to withdraw the controversial schedule.

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

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