L E T T E R S    T O    T H E    E D I T O R

Concrete policy on abductions a must

The editorial “Beyond the euphoria: Need for a national policy on abductions” (Feb 26) presents a true picture of Maoists’ designs and government’s unclear line of action. Maoists are not fighting on the behalf of deprived sections, but only killing innocent civilians and extorting money after threatening with guns. The government’s approach to solve the problem is far from satisfactory. Its officials are also indulging in corrupt practices and show no serious inclination to help people suffering at the hands of terrorists.

Honest and devoted officers like Collector R Vineel Krishna are among the few who are highly respected by tribals and enjoy abundant public support due to their good work and launch of welfare schemes meant for the poor. It is evident from the people’s anger against Maoists who abducted him.

Taking a cue from this episode, the government machinery should formulate concrete policies and must gear up to function dedicatedly, with renewed vigour to root out the menace of terrorism. There should be no gap between the Centre and states’ coordination to apply intelligence and operational effort for achieving positive results and effecting visible development in remote Maoist-dominated areas.

SC VAID, Greater Noida

Abandoned wives

On the plight of the large number of the deserted brides abandoned by their NRI husbands not only in Punjab but in other parts of the country also, the editorial
Sham marriages: NRI wives need to be protected” (Feb 18) rightly opines that despite media attention and right noises made by authorities concerned, the numbers have been steadily rising. The need of the hour is a composite law to address the concerns of NRI brides.

The editorial has rightly concluded that it must be understood that the problems of NRI wives, which have been driven home time and again both at seminars and through individual efforts of men, has a social angle too. In Punjab where obsession for migrating to foreign lands often borders on mania, parents too must own up responsibility. While the conduct of NRI men who trap unsuspecting women in fraudulent marriages cannot be condoned, parents too must check the antecedents of prospective NRI grooms thoroughly and must not show undue haste in marrying off their daughters without proper verification.

DILBAG RAI, Chandigarh

Compromise on rape

The editorial “Setting rapists free: Supreme Court order kicks up a storm” (Feb 25) has rightly pointed that by accepting a compromise in rape case, the Supreme Court has sent out a wrong signal. The fear of punishment already has no impact on the perpetrators who are committing such a heinous crime as rape.


Corruption in Army

One finds that charges against Lt.-Gen Sahni pertain only to certain failures or lapses on his part (editorial, “Jail for a Lt-General”, Feb 21). There is no charge of corruption, graft or bribery. One must, however, concede that there must have been some merit even in the charges framed against him, since he has been awarded a severe punishment by the court martial.

But it would be pertinent to point out that officers of the rank of Major-General and above, being fewer in number, normally know each other well, even intimately. A court martial, therefore, conducted by fellow generals, howsoever above board, is likely to be vitiated by an element of bias either for or against the accused. One, therefore, feels that there is perhaps a need to amend the Army Act to provide for the trial of general-rank officers by an independent civil court so as to avoid the element of bias or prejudice coming in.

 Wg-Cdr C.L. SEHGAL (retd), Jalandhar


The editorial has rightly observed, “It is paramount for a state to have an armed force comprising officers and men of character, integrity and honour.” The Army Chief General VK Singh on taking over the command had decided to “clean the army’s internal health” and by utilising the available internal mechanism going ahead in his resolve knowing well that our armed forces “serve as the last and ultimate bastion” for the country.

But, what about the civil services who rule our country and control the day-to-day life of the people?

Our babus meant to implement the policy decisions of the political authorities and help provide good governance, have with the passage of time usurped to themselves the role deciding and declaring that with regard to the pay, perks and status, parity with civil services cannot be given to the armed forces. But, does that concept also nullify the principle of equality before the law relating to accountability of the bureaucrats for their acts of omission and commission.

Lieut-Colonel JIWAN SHAROTRI (retd), Kasauli

Wasteful campaign

The state government has started a SMS campaign glorifying the development projects (news report “Cash-strapped Punjab can spend Rs 20 lakh a month on SMS publicity”, Feb 19.)  The message would be sent to around 2 crore cell phone users across the state which would cost the government a whopping Rs 20 lakh a month. The Punjab government has been facing a severe financial crunch. This is nothing more than wastage of peoples’ money.

SAHIL GARG, Chandigarh

Missing girls

The news report “781 Punjab girls go missing in 10 years” (Feb 26) by Aman Sood was shocking. It is appalling that no major efforts are being made to locate these girls and no officer was held responsible for negligence. The Punjab government has to take the help of other states and the central government to find these girls. If we want to save the girl child by stopping social evils like female foeticide then we have to care for the future of such girls too.


Untenable excuse

The editorial “Al-Qaida as a ruse” (Feb 28) has rightly opined that the world should not believe Gaddafi when he says that Al-Qaida and the Islamic fundamentalists are behind the democratic movement in Libya.

Gaddafi has done nothing for the common people of Libya. He did not spend on education and the health system of the country He only fuelled tribal feuds in the country to keep himself in power. The sooner he is booted out, the better it for Libya and the world.


Build storage capacity

The words, “Economy is looking up” (editorial, Feb 26) have been heard umpteen times before. Of late, economic growth has been facilitated by good monsoons and in the ensuing season the prospects seem even brighter. To savour the fruits of a surging economy, the government should focus on the proper distribution of food stocks so that all eligible beneficiaries are given food.

While the government must strive to increase productivity and production, it must create sufficient storage capacity. Food wastage is a national shame in the face of the fact that millions are pining for two square meals a day.




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