Get other prisoners released too

It is really a turning point in the life of Kashmir Singh and his family. He is back after 35 years in jail. Intelligence personnel and prisoners of war come under entirely different laws. When captured, the former are dealt with under the civil law of the country concerned and the latter come under the International Geneva Convention.

The efforts of Human Rights Minister of Pakistan Ansar Burney are really praise worthy and deserve a place in the heart of Indians.

But the public in general and serving and retired soldiers in particular would like to know from the Indian government what action it had taken to get the release of Sub Assa Singh under the international law and scores of others whom the government had declared dead and washed its hand off by providing pension to their family members as per the rules.

Lt Col CHANAN SINGH DHILLON (retd), Ludhiana



Kashmir Singh has admitted that he was a spy. This will do more harm to other prisoners like Sarabjit Singh, whose mercy petition has already been turned down by President Parvez Musharraf.

Pakistan Human Rights Minister Ansar Burney, who played a key role in the release of Kashmir Singh, has expressed shock over the latter’s confession that he was actually a spy and has sought forgiveness from the people of Pakistan.

As he rightly said, the damage the confession has done is that now onwards no government in Pakistan will ever give the benefit of the doubt to any Indian prisoner in a Pakistani jail. Many innocents will now become victims in Pakistan due to Kashmir Singh’s irresponsible statement.



Your editorial “Second birth” (March 5) clearly holds our political and military leadership responsible for the plight of patriots like Kashmir Singh.

How could the Army forget those who had risked their lives for their country? Was Kashmir Singh sent on a personal trip or on a tourist visa? If he was sent on a particular mission, was it not the duty of the Army to take care of his family members by granting them financial help from time to time? The guilty must be punished for such lapses.

I salute the Pakistan Human Rights Minister for his efforts to get Kashmir Singh released.


Wildlife in danger

The Tribune’s front-page report “Wildlife under threat” (March 3) was timely and alarming as well. The dwindling number of various species is a serious threat to our eco system.

First, it is important that strict action should be taken against those indulging in the smuggling of animals. Second, poachers must be penalised and jailed. Third, forest guards should be given more powers.

Fourth, the Wildlife Act and the Forest Conservation Act need to be amended and followed in letter and in spirit. Fifth, the dependence on forests by some people for their livelihood should be minimised.

And finally, general awareness among people needs to be created in order to save wildlife.


Unsafe in Punjab

The changing lifestyle in cities has encouraged a new type of crime. Daylight thefts, robberies, chain-snatchings, purse-snatchings and theft of cars/bikes have become frequent. People feel unsafe and uncomfortable.

The police often fails to trace the culprits and, if traced, they are out within a few days either in connivance with the police or by wielding political pressure. The increasing number of drug addicts due to the easy availability of banned drugs and their consumption on a large scale by youth, the lust for money, rising living standards based on Western culture and unemployment have added fuel to the fire.

Our system of detecting crime and punishing the culprits is proving to be obsolete and outdated. There is an urgent need to evolve latest methods of policing, ensure speedy trial and impart justice without any political or administrative interference. These steps will go a long way in building up the shaken confidence of the masses and, hopefully, this state will once again become a safe place to live.

N. K. GOSAIN, DAV College, Bathinda


Crowded platforms

While presenting the budget, the Railway Minister has highlighted the huge profile earned by the Railways. Mr Lalu Yadav must be commended for his efforts.

A very large number of people loiter around railway stations and litter the platforms and waiting rooms. They have a free access to these areas and cause inconvenience to ticket-holding passengers.

To curtail their movement, the ticket checking staff must not permit anybody to enter a railway station without the platform ticket. Anyone found without such a ticket must be treated as an offender without ticket and be dealt with accordingly.

Besides earning extra revenue, the measure will reduce security risk, discourage pick-pockets and regulate passenger rush at the peak-time arrival/departure of trains.

The practice had been in vogue till the mid-sixties but was later abandoned due to the casualness of the staff at railway stations. I hope the Railway Minister will take the necessary action.


Disposal of waste

The pollution control authorities have thoughtfully decided that domestic waste should be segregated as biodegradable and non-biodegradable at the very source so that it is properly disposed of. I think instructions have been issued to this effect to all local bodies.

It is amusing to see big waste bins at various places in towns and cities with the words “Biodegradable” and “Non-biodegradable” written on them. Neither the people who throw the waste in these bins, if at all they make use of them, nor the staff who take the waste to the disposal site know the meaning and purpose of these words.

Sure enough, the labour employed for the final disposal of the two types of waste may also not know about the importance and purpose of categorising waste into two types. Is not it an instance of compliance of instructions on paper only?

SUKRITI, student, St. Theresa’s Convent School, Karnal



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