Sir — Hyderabad was terror-struck as two powerful blasts ripped through the city, killing 16 and injuring a lot of people (“13 die in Hyderabad blasts aimed at teeming clusters”, Feb 22). The twin blasts occurred in the crowded area of Dilsukhnagar, Hyderabad. According to reports, the bombs were powerful and attached to two bicycles placed about 150 metres apart in the area. The bombs were made of pentaerythritol tetranitrate and ammonium nitrate. And they also carried other signature elements used by terror outfits — shrapnel, nuts, bolts and pieces of steel — to cause maximum damage.
The blasts are the handiwork of terrorists who want to kill innocent citizens and create panic. The government seems to have lost its grip on the administration and has been rendered helpless. Suggestions of the abolition of the death sentence and the reformation of terrorists fall flat when faced with situations like these. The government should take immediate steps to arrest the perpetrators of such attacks and mete out strict punishment.
M.M. Kale, Kakinada, Andhra Pradesh
Sir — The bomb blasts in Hyderabad resulted in the death and injury of a good number of innocent people. Manmohan Singh offered his condolences and an ex gratia payment of two lakh rupees each to the next of kin of those killed in the blasts and Rs 50,000 each to those seriously injured, from the prime minister’s relief fund. It is time the Centre takes strict and practical steps to curb such terrorist attacks.
According to sources, video footage obtained from the site of the blasts showed three persons moving suspiciously near bicycles strapped with explosives, minutes before the explosions. Around 15 special teams have been set up to investigate the Dilsukhnagar twin blasts case even as the Andhra Pradesh government beefed up security by installing 3,500 CCTV cameras at vital points.
India should not have a soft approach to terror. Better security systems are required to successfully handle such situations.
M. Kumar, New Delhi
Sir — The two-day strike, called by 11 registered trade unions across the country to protest against the Centre’s “anti-people” policies, received a lukewarm response. The Left’s labour arm had to be content with a one-day strike in West Bengal as Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee was opposed to the bandh (“Why bandh didn’t bite deep”, Feb 21). The government’s decision to impose a pay cut and serve a break in service notice to employees worked like magic, forcing the babus, irrespective of their political affiliations, to go to work. Bandhs are no longer considered a paid holiday.
Mamata Banerjee is hell bent on thwarting bandhs and restoring the work culture of the state to gain political mileage. Although private buses were hardly seen plying on the first day of the bandh, there was a sufficient number of buses of the state transport corporation and autorickshaws on the city streets.
Local and long distance trains ran smoothly without any significant disruption. But the daily wagers were affected badly. The government failed to instil confidence among the workers of the unorganized sector. They had no option but to support the strike and thus incur losses.
Banks and ATMs were closed for the two days — which was a cause of great inconvenience to the people.
Subhankar Mukherjee, Borehat, Burdwan
Sir — Political parties resort to some ritualistic shutdowns like industrial or general strikes at regular intervals to make their presence felt. Thus they rob the citizens of their fundamental right to free movement. But the frequency with which this tactic is used has made it into a useless political weapon. The timely realization of the uselessness of bandhs by Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee, diminishing fear amongst the general public and the chief minister’s directive to government employees to attend work have succeeded in thwarting the recent strike in Bengal.
Although every union claims to protect the interests of the working classes, political compulsions actually come first to them. It is only natural that the ruling dispensation would use all its machineries to foil every attempt by the Opposition to paralyse normal life. The chief minister has every right to ensure the smooth functioning of her state.
I.N. Banerjee, Calcutta
Sir — The decision to suspend student elections in colleges for a period of six months in the wake of the Garden Reach incident is a good one (“Campus Frankenstein spooks CM”, Feb 18).
College elections have become occasions for students owing allegiance to different political parties to indulge in meaningless violence. It is high time such practices are curbed. Colleges are institutions of education. Such violence on campus is not acceptable.
The Lyngdoh commission had suggested that college representatives should be selected on the basis of merit and popularity and not political allegiance. College authorities should utilize the chance afforded by the Garden Reach incident to put into practice the suggestions of the Lyngdoh panel and prevent party politics from affecting internal elections.
Arunodoy Bhattacharya, Calcutta