The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Letters to Editor

Power games all the way

Sir — The new chief minister of Jammu and Kashmir, Mufti Mohammed Sayeed, may be accused of a number of things, but not for lacking a sense of humour (“Reality bites for Mufti vows”, Nov 11). In his inaugural speech as chief minister, Sayeed has told the people of the state, “Power now belongs to the masses and this would be ensured by giving them electric power for maximum hours during the day.” There is nothing apparently wrong with the statement, till one hears what Moulvi Manzoor, the state electricity board’s chief engineer for electric maintenance and rural electrification, has to say. According to him, supply in the valley has been increased in accordance “with the decision of the government”. Now isn’t that supposed to imply that the previous National Conference government of Farooq Abdullah had “decided” not to give enough electricity to the people of the state' Is Sayeed trying to clear the ground for as many coming elections as he can at the additional cost of Rs 3,000-Rs 5,000 crore for the annual electricity bill' That is in addition to the Rs 6,000 crore the state already owes the Centre for electricity'

Yours faithfully,
Shanta Dubey, Guwahati

Rising from death

Sir — Whether or not the encounter between the police personnel and suspected terrorists at Ansal Plaza in New Delhi was a fake one, the Delhi police is engaging in a kind of victimization of the witnesses which harks back to the Tehelka days (“Shootout or killing' Witness on the run”, Nov 7). The fact that Hari Krishna, the doctor who is an eyewitness and has alleged that the persons killed were actually unarmed, has prior first information reports against him, has nothing whatsoever to do with the veracity or otherwise of his allegation. The police is only hurting its own credibility by persecuting Krishna, as they did by casually handling the weapons that allegedly belonged to the slain “terrorists” in front of television cameras. Also, how come the terrorists, in this case belonging to a suicide squad, always carry diaries or cellular phones or both, which come in handy for investigative agencies to establish their Pakistan links'

Yours faithfully,
B. Purkayastha, Shillong

Sir — Hari Krishna’s statement that the so called terrorists killed in the Ansal Plaza shootout were unarmed and were sedated before being shot dead is an ominous sign for the life and liberty of the ordinary citizen which is guaranteed in our Constitution. That even L.K. Advani was taken for a ride only proves that Advani’s “proactive policy” against terrorism has backfired in the hands of trigger-happy police forces. A terrorist, even if he is a national of India’s arch rival country, Pakistan, deserves to be hanged only after going through the due process of law. We should not end up as Angola or Uganda in our Quixotic fight against terrorism.

Yours faithfully,
Farhat Akhtar, Secunderabad

Sir — The Ansal Plaza shooting, which indicates that there is more to the story than what has been disclosed by the government, may be just the tip of the iceberg. The special cell of Delhi police, which said that the “militants” were heavily armed, may have distorted the facts according to the needs of the government. One hopes that the same police cell is not given the duty of providing security to Hari Krishna.

The allegations raise the possibility that the recent Akshardham shootout in Gandhinagar was similarly staged. L.K. Advani, who has been too quick to identify those killed as Lashkar-e-Toiba militants, has also been very quick in trying to divert public attention from this by making a hue and cry about Bangladesh providing shelter to terrorists (“Advani in terror cry at Dhaka”, Nov 7). Will the national human rights commission please delve into the matter and bring out the right information'

Yours faithfully,
A. Dasgupta, Calcutta

Sir — If terrorists don’t get you, traitors will. This is what can be said of the vested interests who have never said a word against the Pakistani terrorists who perpetrate heinous crimes in India, but are quick to bring allegations of human rights violations on the armed forces at the faintest rumour. It would be interesting to see how they react if one of them or their near ones is taken hostage by Pakistan-sponsored terrorists.

Yours faithfully,
Udita Agrawal, New Delhi

Sir — While everyone was greatly relieved and grateful at the efficiency and bravery of the police force in saving a large number of innocent, unarmed men, women and children on the eve of Diwali at New Delhi’s Ansal Plaza, The Telegraph’s headline, “Delhi, Pak play ‘body’ politics” (Nov 8), is full of sarcasm and shows scant respect for the keepers of the nation’s laws. While the useless wrangling between India and Pakistan has been unnecessarily given importance, the contributions of the police personnel have been overlooked.

Yours faithfully,
S. Bhat, Bangalore

Web of illicit desire

Sir — J. Waldron in “No help for AIDS” (Nov 7) makes a bizarre connection between the AIDS pandemic and cyberporn. There is no documented study to prove a correlation between the two. Moreover, the history of sexually transmitted diseases dates back to the Middle Ages when people did not have internet. My grandfather had 11 children and a leading Bengali poet of that era had STD. None of them required cyberporn for their sexual hyperactivity or promiscuity.

The case, in fact, may well be just the opposite. In a sexually repressed society like India’s, cyberporn helps satiate the curiosity of youngsters. It is a benign hedonistic pastime, which poses a lesser threat to society than drugs and tobacco. Rather, it raises awareness about the dangers of unprotected sex, especially among the young. After all, visual sex is a lesser evil than promiscuity.

Yours faithfully,
Tapan Pal, Batanagar

Sir — The recent flooding of the internet with pornographic material seems to be a conspiracy masterminded by some foreign country trying to destabilize India. Some times these objectionable sites are displayed on the screen of the computer uninvited and there is little escape from it. The information and broadcasting ministry should look into the matter.

Yours faithfully,
P. Guha, Kharagpur

Believe it or not

Sir — Earlier this month, I had my mobile phone stolen from my car. Believing that the chances of finding it were remote, I did not bother to file a complaint with the police. Much to my astonishment, I received a call next day from an officer of the detective department of the Calcutta police who had stopped my phone from being sold off in the grey market. He had also inserted his own SIM card to trace the owner. My phone was returned to me after some minor formalities. I not only wish to thank the police department but also to remind others that in an era of corruption there are still some people who with their tireless efforts make Calcutta a safe metro to live in.

Yours faithfully,
Anirban Sengupta, Calcutta

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