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Prevent crime against women

The editorial titled ‘WASPS: Time to fight misogynist locusts’ (April 20) is thought provoking. The dictionary meaning of misogynist is a person who hates women. In my opinion, this epithet, prima facie, should not be given to policemen who mercilessly thrash women in public view and bring shame to the entire force.

A more appropriate word to describe such persons would be uniformed ruffians who indulge in brutal violence not only against women but also innocent men. Be it Tarn Taran, Aligarh or Delhi, the police has been openly violating human rights with impunity. The Union Home Minister should immediately direct states to impart training to its policemen to give due respect to women. In case of any violation, the Director General of Police should be held responsible. I think such a measure would surely go a long way in curbing this menace.

However, the step taken by the Punjab Government for creating Women Armed Special Protection Squads (WASPS) is praiseworthy. But the moot point is how to prevent crimes against women? When Partap Singh Kairon was the Chief Minister of Punjab, women could move fearlessly even in the dead of night and this was primarily due to fear of law and effective policing.


Martyr’s memorial

It is quite shocking to learn that the government has backtracked from its promise of converting the ancestral house of martyr Madan Lal Dhingra into a memorial. Denying a national martyr his due honour is totally wrong.

The reason stated by the authorities that the site is not approachable is not a convincing one. The memorials for martyrs are not for recreational purposes but they offer inspiration to the present generation. A person who has love for his country will like to visit the memorial and not mind walking some distance on foot.

The fact that the present owner has been allowed to demolish Dhingra’s house clearly speaks of the indifferent attitude of the government. The ancestral houses of martyrs should be treated as historical treasures. Dhingra is known to be among the first to raise the banner of revolt against the British.

He started the armed struggle against the British government despite the fact that his family was loyal to the British. Dhingra was disowned by the family on account of his anti-British activities. Further, there cannot be any other better and appropriate place to set up a memorial for this great son of the soil than his ancestral house. The government should, therefore, take immediate steps to take over Dhingra’s house and construct a memorial for him.


Hang Bhullar

The demand for commuting dreaded terrorist Devinderpal Singh Bhullar’s death penalty into life imprisonment is totally absurd. Once Bhullar’s mercy petition has been rejected and the Supreme Court has given its final verdict, why this hue and cry is being raised by political parties and human rights organisations.

All citizens are equal before law and they have the right to defend themselves. But they are also bound to respect the final decision of courts. To seek commutation of Bhullar’s death penalty is simply a mockery of law. The gravity of his offence cannot be overlooked and Bhullar rightly deserves such a treatment. To say that law and order trouble could erupt if Bhullar is hanged is simply illogical. The law has taken its own course in the Bhullar case and the decision of the apex court should be acceptable to all.

Commuting Bhullar’s death sentence into life imprisonment would definitely set a bad precedent.


Give HP its due

Himachal Pradesh has lost nearly 28,000 acres of land to various hydel projects of the Bhakra-Beas Management Board. Thousands of families have been uprooted as a consequence. Over the years, the aggrieved state has been crying for adequate compensation for the loss suffered by it. It had to move the Supreme Court to get justice. The apex court responded positively and conceded the state’s genuine demand. However, for strange reasons the court order has not been implemented.

The state is yet to receive its due share. It’s high time that corrective steps are taken so that Himachal can get its  compensation.


System overhaul

The country needs a robust police force and a sound judiciary to introduce fear in minds of criminals and instill confidence in its citizens. The present policing system lacks well-educated, trained & professional investigating officers and the judiciary is plagued by staff shortage. There is a huge backlog of cases in courts. Unless the system is improved, there is a strong possibility that innocent people would be trapped in false cases and punished for crimes committed by others. Also, eradication of corruption is a must before introduction of stringent laws so that they are effective in the longer run.


Unfair media trials

Castigation of the accused doesn’t start with the pronouncement of sentence, but from the very day of commencement of trial. The trial by court is justified but not by the media, which rakes up unnecessary issues and debates them. The duty of the media should be to report truth not debate it. The media doesn’t care whether a person is truly or falsely implicated but once accused, he is portrayed as a criminal in people’s minds by the media, depriving him of his basic rights. The media wants answers from everyone, but who will seek answers from them. Behind the mask of private business, most media houses run their show without any accountability. Until the necessary criteria are sufficiently debated, defined and legislated, immediate steps should be taken to ensure that the pattern of humiliation through litigation and trial by the media is prevented. This trend of ‘punishment before trial’ must cease immediately.




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