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Plight of tribal youth as SPOs

The editorial, “Combating Maoism: SC rules against vigilante groups” (July 7), rightly supports the Supreme Court’s decision that “recruiting barely literate tribal youth, arming and deploying them as ‘cannon fodder’ in counter-insurgency operations” was unconstitutional. It is a pity that the nine states affected by Maoist violence use uneducated tribal youth for facing hardcore criminals and terrorists instead of regular police and paramilitary forces. The innocent villagers are recruited without any formal training, and they are sent to face the deadly Maoists.

What a shame! Many of them die without any benefits to their family members. Their family members are not even eligible for family pension. Merely giving them the designation of special police officers (SPOs) is not enough. The Supreme Court needs to be appreciated for coming to the rescue of such poor and helpless people of the tribal areas of the Maoist-affected states. The SPOs should be absorbed as regular policemen.

R K KAPOOR, Chandigarh


This refers to the editorial, “Combating Maoism: SC rules against vigilante groups” (July 7). No government has the right to fight terrorism by violating the principles of the Constitution. There was no justification in appointing the barely literate tribal youth as SPOs and arming them with deadly weapons without any formal training. The policy proved counter-productive. There were reports of human rights violation in Chhattisgarh. The deployment of these SPOs was making the society fragile. The decision of the apex court will go a long way in strengthening their belief that the rule of law is supreme.


Guilty conscience

I agree with the view that Karnataka Chief Minister Yeddyurappa “must step down” (the editorial, “Admission of guilt”, July 6). A Chief Minister is expected to solve people’s problems like poverty and unemployment. But Yeddyurappa’s style of functioning has benefited his own family members and relatives. He admitted that he had allotted residential sites to them in Mysore from his discretionary quota.

The two Reddy brothers, who have thrived as mining magnates and become powerful billionaires, also enjoyed Yeddyurappa’s help. BJP leader Sushma Swaraj has done a commendable job by disowning the Reddy brothers publicly. As for leadership, the BJP has several emerging leaders in Karnataka. One of them with a clean image can replace Yeddyurappa.


Condemnable act

The Centre’s stand on honour killings (the editorial, “Washing hands off”, July 8) is shocking to say the least. It is true that police and public order are state subjects under the Constitution and it is the state’s responsibility to deal with offences like honour killings. But when the states fail to curb the menace, should the Centre remain a silent spectator?

Our system is federal in structure but unitary in spirit, as is often said. It means that the Centre can act if a state fails to perform its Constitutional duties. If terrorism and anarchy are enough for the Centre to act firmly, what are honour killings? Law of the land applies equally to one and all, and nothing can stop the government from acting firmly to stop such crimes. It is also shocking to read that the Centre in its affidavit says that it does not interfere in the personal laws of any community unless the demand comes from within the community. But nobody has the right to harass someone just because he or she has married according to his or her own choice.

We all criticised what had happened in Afghanistan a few years back. But I fail to understand how our own acts are any different from what the Talibans did to their people in that country. Honour killings need to be condemned by everyone, and it is a crime against humanity. India cannot hold its head high if such acts of brutality continue and the government fails to curb the menace.


Disgrace to sports

This refers to the news item, “IOA wants probe into doping scam” (July 2). It is shameful on the part of the National Anti-Doping Agency for its failure to check doping among our athletes. It is the responsibility of such agencies that they should perform their duties with honesty. Who should be held responsible for the disgrace brought to Indian sports? The real culprits should be identified and punished at the earliest.



Work together in a family

The middle, “Need sound sleep” (July 7) by Ravia Gupta, was interesting. We all need sound sleep. Women also do. I am saying this because sometimes people at home forget this. The writer asks why women always had to adjust and change. The question of identity is also raised. But I think the only way out is for women to assert themselves. Men get things done very easily. For years they tried to suppress women. They do that even now. I, however, believe that women do not need to add to their roles.

If they want to pursue a career, they should. As for home, it is the responsibility of both husband and wife. One cannot expect a woman to do everything. Division of work at home is a healthy practice. So, for sound sleep, work together.

ASHA SAXENA, Jalandhar 



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