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Donít dilute armed forces powers Act

Chief of Army Staff General V.K. Singh has rightly voiced his opposition to any change in the Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) on the ground that demands for its dilution were being made for narrow political gains (June 27).

It is said that the Act should be diluted because of improved security scenario in the states where it is in force. If that is so, why not withdraw armed forces from the regions where the law and order is better?

It is impolitic†to entrust†the military personnel with†internal security†duties for a prolonged†period. This responsibility falls within the jurisdiction†of the civil administration.

The armed forces are basically†trained to†wage war and deal firmly with the enemies of the state and terrorists.†Letís not render the military†combatants limp-wristed by imposing unnecessary restrictions on†the primary role assigned to them. Incidentally, whereas the Prime Minister and the Home†Minister have gone public over the need for amending the AFPSA, the Defence†Ministerís considered view is awaited.

Wg-Comdr†S.C. KAPOOR (retd), Noida




The Army Chief is fully justified in cautioning the government about the consequences of diluting the AFSPA. The Prime Minister should not promise any dilution of the Act as otherwise it would jeopardise the Army operations against terrorists in Jammu and Kashmir and the Northeast.

As a safeguard against any likely misuse of the AFSPA, necessary precautions can be justified, not the dilution of the Act itself. One odd incident should not be taken to blame the armed forces due to the peculiar situation in the valley; there could be an error of judgment for self-defence.

More than anything else, the government and the political parties must stop criminals and anti-national elements from entering into politics for narrow political gains. The soldiers of the India Army are behind the Army Chief and appreciate his deep concern for the armed forces and the nationís safety, security and integrity.

Capt AMAR JEET KUMAR, Chandigarh


The Government of Indiaís move to dilute the Armed Forces Special Powers Act, 1958, has surprised the masses. Everybody knows that only the Army could tackle the insurgency problem in Punjab, Jammu and Kashmir and in the Northeast due to the powers under the AFSPA.

Efforts are on to revive terrorism and to intensify the Naxalite movement in Punjab. The state police many times in the past has failed to contain terrorism and inter-border infiltration. When terrorist groups and Naxalites are coming together, it is not advisable to dilute the AFSPA. No sensible person will support the Centreís unwanted move.

S.K. GOYAL, Shimla

Octroi on power

Punjab is the only state where octroi is being collected on power from the consumers. The stateís power tariff rate is Rs 5.28 per unit ó the second highest in the country. However, the people are not assured of quality power supply. As a result, the people are forced to cough up extra money on inverters and generators whose running cost is also very high.

Recently, the Apex Chamber of Commerce and Industry has urged the government to abolish octroi on power to give relief to the common man and industries.

S.C. DHALL, Zirakpur

Afzal Guru case

The death sentence awarded to Afzal Guru by the supreme court in the Parliament Attack Case is yet to be carried out. It may be called justice delayed but not justice denied. The same is being expected from Mohd Amir Ajmal Kasabís case in the Mumbai terror case. Delay has been caused due to non-action on the part of the government.

Some stringent law should be enacted to prevent such delays in the future. The focus should be on carrying out capital punishment as soon as possible.


Motherís milk

In his middle, ďMilk of kindnessĒ (June 24), P.C. Sharma has highlighted the importance not only of native wisdom which is becoming rare these days but also the importance of the motherís milk for proper and balanced growth of the child.

Though the government and the medical fraternity have started enlightening the public about the nutritious qualities of the motherís milk for the child, the present-day mothers prefer to feed the child through the bottle. Breast-feeding not only keeps the child immune from several diseases but also strengthens the bond between the mother and the child.

Young mothers must learn a lesson from this middle. Women of Mohanís village who fed him with their milk must be honoured by the state government.


Test for driving licence

The procedure for issuing driving licences by the Chandigarh Administration is a good effort. The learnerís test makes the new drivers aware of the traffic rules while the driving test for a regular licence tests the driving skills of the learners.†The learner has to drive in all types of settings like a roundabout, a U-turn, a bridge, etc.

However, the test seems to have become actually real as the entrance to the Childrenís Traffic Park, where it is held, is full of potholes. Though I agree that this is also one of the real conditions of Indian roads, exposing learners to such difficult situations would be too early. Also the queue of the learners coincides with the entrance to the park. The reader herself saw a learner driver slipping over.

CHHAVI GARG, Chandigarh

An eye-opener

Inder Malhotraís article on corruption (June 25) is an eye-opener. Corruption at the highest level in the Medical Council of India is very disturbing. Those in power must realise that one day they will need good medical treatment to save their life and that of their loved ones. All the money amassed by corrupt means will not be able to save your life if the medical practitioners are poorly trained.

The authorities must take steps to ensure excellent medical education and training as it is†vital for the national progress.

Air Marshal A. S. CHAHAL (retd), Chandigarh



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