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Need for political will

Admittedly, national unity and harmony are a must for fighting terrorism (“Terrorism can be fought only if we are united”, front-page editorial by H.K. Dua, Nov 28). Without losing time, the Centre and the states must formulate a joint strategy to tackle terrorism. The attacks in Mumbai once again show that the terrorists are well funded and well equipped with modern arms, technology and network.

The nation must generate a strong political will, effective intelligence network, unstinted public support and political unity to prevent and combat terrorism. We need a Federal Investigation Agency and strict laws to crush terrorism. India should not be taken as a weak or soft state. An enquiry must be ordered on how and why our coastal security has failed to prevent the entry of terrorists by the sea route.

Union Home Minster P. Chidambaram should evaluate his role and do his best to come up to the expectations of the nation. Politicisation of terroism must be avoided.

India should take the lead in evolving a front against terrorism with cooperation of Pakistan, Bangladesh and other South Asian countries. Exchange of cooperation at international level must be ensured. Terrorism has no religion and we must remain united to tackle it.



Mr Dua has rightly observed that the attacks in Mumbai “must shake the nation out of its familiar tendency to lapse into complacency after a crisis is over”. Had India taken concrete steps to counter such attacks earlier, the forces behind such attacks would not have dared repeat their acts.

Though Al-Qaida and the Taliban have issued threats time and again, they have not been able to execute such threats in the US after 9/11 only because the US tightened its security and intelligence.

India is a soft target for the terrorist groups operating from abroad. It is a matter of grave concern that intelligence agencies rarely succeed in tracking down the planned designs of the terrorist groups.



Foreign mercenaries, extremists and terrorists strike with impunity at fixed targets and every time intelligence agencies are caught napping. Investigation into previous serial blasts has led us nowhere.

We need to revamp the security apparatus and come with an effective anti-terror strategy. A federal agency should be set up to coordinate with intelligence agencies in the states and take pre-emptive action. We need to strengthen our resolve to combat terror. Laws alone will not help.

A system of national identity cards should be introduced and a database of all suspects developed. Mobile companies must ensure proof of identity before allotting a new SIM as most criminals are misusing prepaid SIM cards.

There is an urgent need to curb the flow of funds to suspect organisations. India needs to collaborate with Israel, the US and Euro nations to eradicate terror with a firm hand.



The Mumbai episode has once again exposed the soft underbelly of the Indian state and the total failure of our intelligence and police force to thwart the diabolical designs of those who are bent on destabilising the country. 

There is no use of just blaming Pakistan. Does India exist at Pakistan’s mercy? Are we ourselves doing enough for India’s security? No. While India keeps on burning in the fires of terrorism, our assorted Neroes and ‘heroes’ continue fiddling! What is involved here is not only the loss of human lives but also a major setback to the country’s image that has wider international ramifications.

However, it will be far-fetched to compare the Mumbai calamity with 9/11 in the US. There should be no compromise on terrorism.

Wg-Cdr S.C. KAPOOR (retd) Noida

Lower berths for the elderly

Railway Minister Lalu Prasad Yadav deserves all appreciation for giving 30 per cent concession in the train fare to senior citizens (men) and 50 per cent to women. However, at the time of reservation, mostly upper berths are available for senior citizens.

Because of their old age and health problems, it is neither feasible nor convenient for them to occupy upper berths.

I would appeal to Mr Yadav and Railway Board Chairman K.C. Jena to fix a 25 per cent quota of berths for senior citizens in all the trains and in all the classes so that senior citizens are allotted lower berths at the time of booking.

H. S. GHAI, Advocate, Khanna 



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