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Marines row: Italy must act wisely

The refusal of Italy to return its two marines, charged of killing two Indian fishermen, is too shocking. Though the Italian envoy had assured the Indian counterpart of getting them back to India, the Italian government flatly refused to do so (‘Italy is not fair’, March 14).

The question that arises now is: Couldn’t India have handled the issue in a mature way? Last year, the Kerala High Court had allowed the marines to celebrate Christmas in Italy with a financial security of Rs 6 crore, but the Supreme Court did not do so. Why was a special court not held to bring the culprits to justice soon? The SC had admonished the government several times to do the needful in this regard, but it failed to do so.

Now, the government should not resist from taking harshest steps to get them back to the country.

KANISHKA PATHAK, Dhanbad (Jharkhand)


The judiciary, which reflects the psyche of its people and polity of the state, sent the accused to celebrate Christmas with their families, true to its secular ideals.

It further showed its maturity as a proponent of democracy when it suspended its trial of these marines so that they could caste their votes.

Moreover, to give an undertaking and not honouring the same is a breach of trust. Every nation must protect its citizens, not culprits, who kill innocent citizens of other nations. Italy must respect human values and act wisely.



The fact that the SC did not press for a bank guarantee and undertaking is a matter of embarrassment for the UPA, which stands exposed for allowing itself to be taken for a ride by a foreign government. The Italian envoy should not be allowed to invoke diplomatic immunity since he gave a sovereign undertaking to the SC and has violated it. He should not be allowed to leave the country, as he is equally responsible for the mess.


Bizarre amendment

The decision of the Group of Ministers (GoM) to agree to lower the age of consent for sexual engagement to 16 is really a bizarre amendment. Are they sure that the new law will help protect women? Post-amendment, if a girl between the age of 16 and 18 was raped, the onus would fall on her to prove that it was not consensual, as the rapist would invariably claim that to be so. The girl or her parents will have to engage lawyers and go through an arduous and lengthy process to prove their case. With the present status of the law, the crime (statutory rape) is presumed to have been committed without the need to prove it in a court of law. The new law seems to have been drafted to help lawyers and rapists rather than victims between the age of 16 and 18.


CRPF camp attack

The directions of the J&K government to the CRPF not to carry weapons while dealing with mobs is highly suicidal, as is evident from the merciless killing of five CRPF jawans in Srinagar. Had these jawans been armed with weapons, the situation would have been otherwise. Such a pointless order by the state government is likely to demoralise security personnel of CRPF and other forces in the Valley. The Centre should intervene and ask the state government to withdraw this order immediately to avoid a repeat of such incidents.


End of a beast

This refers to the thought-provoking and soul-stirring editorial ‘The end of a beast’ (March 12). However brave posture the Delhi gang-rape prime accused, Ram Singh, might have put up, posing to be unaffected and unfazed by public protests, his guilty conscience must never have loosened its penetrating claws on his mind, the torture of which led him to commit suicide.

The spirits of innocent persons murdered as the braveheart Delhi girl student, never rest in peace and keep haunting the criminals till the justice is delivered. The spirit of Delhi gang-rape victim abroad,  haunted the accused Ram Singh leading to his suicide and shall keep haunting the other brutes till full justice is meted out and the murder avenged.



A recent study has linked drug-peddling with arms smuggling and terrorism. About 20 years ago, drug- peddling in Punjab was limited to the border areas. However, now Mandrax has made deeper roots into rural Punjab. The maximum cases of Mandrax consumption have been detected in Ferozepur, Gurdaspur and Amritsar districts. Drug-peddling is the quickest way to raise funds for carrying out the gun culture. A study says that 1-kg of pure white heroin sells for Rs 1 lakh in India, but commands anything between Rs 50 and Rs 60 lakh in Europe and the US India has emerged as the most convenient point for smuggling out a huge quality of drugs like opium, heroin, smack and Mandrax. Seizure of narcotics like opium, smack, and Sulfa show that prisoners take drugs even inside the jails.

Dr H Kumar Kaul, Barnala



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