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Sick way to protest

Sir — Our Trinamool Congress leaders have this rather unique protest line to which they take recourse now and then. Whenever they have a grievance, they get together a few hundred supporters and land up in front of the concerned authorities. The show of ire is far from civilized, as was demonstrated by Madan Mitra and his supporters recently (“Like mayor, like Madan,” Nov 22). The site of the protest was the SSKM hospital, and inconveniencing the ailing for narrow political gains is criminal. The sooner politicians and political parties are penalized for such offences, the better it will be for the people and the city.

Yours faithfully,
Saptarshi Mukherjee, Calcutta


Hide and seek

Sir — Protests over the disconnection of power and water lines to several tanneries in the city were hardly unexpected. The state government should not have promised the Supreme Court that work on the Calcutta leather complex would be completed within a specified time when it was running behind schedule. The state commerce and industry minister, Nirupam Sen, blames the tanneries for delaying the shifting process, who, in turn have argued that the common effluent treatment plant was not ready. In stead of passing the buck, the state could have investigated the matter since so many families draw sustenance from these tanneries. The government is sending out wrong signals to potential investors once again.

Yours faithfully,
Charles Seiku, Calcutta


Sir — The blame game was played once again when the chief minister of West Bengal, Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee, held M.L. Dalmiya and Company responsible for not completing the construction of the leather complex in time. But what has the state government done about the whole thing'

Instead of waiting till the eleventh hour, shouldn’t the monitoring authorities have informed the government about the progress of the project from time to time' To get a job completed on time, it is important to take stricter action against truant contractors by allotting the same work to others. Since the government did no such thing, there is reason to believe that it is giving the contractor in this case undue advantage. Greater accountability of the monitoring agencies should also have been ensured.

Yours faithfully,
Ashoke Das Gupta, Calcutta


Sir — The Supreme Court’s recent order with respect to tanneries has dealt a huge blow to one of the biggest pollutants of the city (“Seize and seal to tanners”, Nov 23). The implications of the order are well-known, but what is of real interest is how the state government plans its next move. It has to be ready to provide an alternate and viable option to avoid abrupt closure of these tanneries, not foregoing the interests of the state.

Your faithfully,

T.R. Anand, Calcutta

Armed against

Sir — S.K. Raychaudhuri, in his letter (“Occupying only the armchair”, Nov 18), is justified in protesting against the provocative remarks made by Ashok Mitra in his article, “Terror, fiction and myths” (Nov 15).The instrument of accession used by the Indian army is fully in accordance with the orders of the Centre. Mitra, who obviously does not follow news reports regularly, is under the impression that the army is whiling time in one of the most troubled and remote places of our country. Raychaudhuri is the best person to counter Mitra. Thankfully, most Indians are not as insensitive as Mitra and will unhesitatingly salute our jawans for braving bullets and the extreme cold to keep us safe.

Yours faithfully,
Sujit Sharma, Calcutta


Sir — According to Ashok Mitra, the “exploits of the army occupying Jammu and Kashmir” leaves little room for praise. My husband is in the Indian army and posted in Kashmir and he is not exactly holidaying there. Mitra’s article gives the impression that the Centre prepares fake reports to make the terrorism scenario look grimmer than it really is, so as to keep the army unnecessarily engaged in combating it. Since my husband and his colleagues seem to be risking life and limb in a futile exercise, let us call them back from the borders. And if that poses a new problem, we can, of course, rely on Mitra’s intellectual acumen to come up with a better solution.

Your faithfully,

Debalina Chanda, Calcutta

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