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False claims led to manhandling of Pannu

This refers to the news item 'Badal orders setting up of SIT to probe attack on officer' (June 27). It is really shameful that the Punjab government has been patting its back for its role in saving the lives of pilgrims from Punjab who were caught unawares in the Uttarakhand flash floods and were stranded for over a week in some gurdwaras and temples. As the stranded people were irritated by the false claims of the Punjab government, they manhandled a senior Punjab IAS officer, KS Pannu, and beat him up out of frustration. The Badals failed to visit Uttarakhand as they were busy enjoying their foreign jaunt.

A misleading news item that a helicopter sent by the Punjab government would evacuate the stranded pilgrims led to the manhandling of Pannu by the crowd. But such action is not pardonable. The culprits must be identified and punished.

RK KAPOOR, Chandigarh

Punish the guilty

The way a Punjab IAS officer, on a well-meaning relief and rescue mission to Govindghat (June 25), was manhandled by stranded pilgrims from Punjab is disconcerting. The authorities should take strict action against those who manhandled him.


Politics over disaster

The country has been struck by one of the worst disasters in recent times in Uttarakhand. The editorial "Politics over disaster" (June 13) has rightly brought the message home. The top priority on such occasions is relief and rescue operations and personnel involved in such operations must not be disturbed by political leaders visiting the affected areas, which hamper the smooth working of rescue operations. Political leaders and VIPs' visits must be banned on such occasions. We should not let such a tragedy to be used as an occasion by the likes of Modi and Rahul to enhance their voter-banks.


Learn from tragedy

The recent havoc caused by cloudburst in Uttarakhand is clear evidence of man in direct conflict with nature. On its part, nature has shown its might by unleashing its fury in the shape of calamity, which was beyond the mankind to handle. The Lord says in Shloka 32 of Chapter 11 in the Bhagvad Gita that "As an inflamed and furious kaala, I becometh death , the destroyer of the worlds."

What happened at Kedarnath on that fateful day can be described as sort of a 'pralaya'. The mindless felling of trees and unchecked growth of haphazard structures in the Himalayas in the name of development and creating infrastructure has provoked nature to retaliate. Alas! Even poor and innocent lives had to face nature's wrath for no fault of theirs.

The Vijay Bahuguna government was found ill-prepared to meet this exigency. Moreover, where did the authorities sleep when the multi-storeyed structures were being raised at the hill slopes and the river banks? Most of these crumbled like a pack of cards. It is time to start afforestation and make future planning to tackle tragedies of epic proportions.


Modi phobia

The Congress has developed a Modi phobia to such an extent that even Ajay Maken, otherwise a calm leader with a constructive mindset, has joined his party colleagues who keep on targeting and denigrating Narendra Modi on every occasion. Perhaps, the party leaders feel jittery about Modi's rising popularity within the country. Instead of targeting one person, the Congress party must concentrate on governance, which has remained a casualty during the past nine years of its rule.

MK JINSI, Zirakpur 

By-election or rescue work?

Uttarakhand and Himachal Pradesh were the worst affected by the recent flash floods and landslides. Official machinery in both the states was caught napping. The Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister himself was trapped in the Sangla valley for 68 hours. Moreover, it took more than a week for the administration to initiate rescue operations. Was the ritual of aerial survey by politicians so urgent to make the stranded people to wait for weeks? Was not there another option to evacuate those in trouble?

Now the question is: was campaigning in the by-election more important than providing instant help to the trapped humans? Surprisingly, the administration stirred into action only when the Chief Minister convened a meeting after a week and issued directions to clear roads and airlift visitors. Can't it be done without the Chief Minister's directions? Both the state governments should upgrade their disaster management agencies to tackle unpredictable natural calamities.

RM RAMAUL, Paonta Sahib



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