What’s in the news'
Sir — J. Jayalalithaa seems to make front page news everytime she washes her hands (“Jaya on Tansi land return track”, Jan 2). The Tamil Nadu chief minister and her friend, Sassikala, had already pledged the return of the Tansi lands some time back. Why is the formal return of the lands news again' Is it because Jayalalithaa is not expe-cted to keep her promise or is the waiving of the Rs 1.68 crore purchase money the real clincher' But given the fact that the puratchi thalaivi has never been stingy about the use of (her') money, be it in gold thrones or mounds of silver, should we not have expected her to forget a crore'
M. Majumdar, Calcutta
Sir — In a number of recent instances, those who have protested against eve-teasing have been found to end up in trouble themselves. The worst case being that of Bapi Sen, traffic police sergeant of the Calcutta police (“Eve-teaser cops batter protester sergeant”, Jan 2). However, in all these instances, little thought is spared for the female victims of the incident. As in this instance, most of the victims and their families prefer to ignore the teasers for fear of reprisal, including a possible lengthy legal procedure. Women support groups in the city, despite their efforts, have been unable to alter the situation. Although crimes against women are rising in the city, the figures in the police file often do not correspond, as people still feel ashamed to report such incidents to the police. The recent incident of eve-teasing on the New Year’s eve by the so-called law-enforcers will add to the negative impression in the minds of victims about the police, whose image is already steadily declining.
Aritra Roy, Shyamnagar
Sir — Sexual harassment and eve-teasing now add to the regular cases of rape, dowry harassment, bride-burning and so on. It is most annoying to read that those who are supposed to safeguard women’s liberty and modesty were themselves violating them on New Year’s day in Calcutta. Worse, another law-enforcer, trying to stop them, was beaten to near-death. On the other side of the spectrum ,we now desperately try to get accustomed to reports of sex scandals involving high court judges. The people who are expected to be role models to citizens and look after law and order should be severely punished if they fail to ensure the safety and security of the public, especially that of women.
B.S. Ganesh, Bangalore
Sir — The report that a policeman was almost beaten to death by his own colleagues off-duty was heartrending. The guilty constables need to be promptly dismissed from service. They not only committed an act for which more harmless eve-teasers are often sent to jail, they tried to murder a man who happened to be a policeman himself. Following their dismissal, they should be tried in court and given either a life term or some other exemplary punishment.
T.R. Anand, Calcutta
Sir — Though I have become a Calcuttan only very recently, from my short stay here, I can gauge the emotional attachment that almost every resident of this city has with Park Street and Camac Street. I notice that The Telegraph has, of late, been publishing several reports which adversely affect the reputation of Park Street. Take “Rogue run on Party Street” (Jan 2), for example. Even before the ink of the previous report on the food joints of Park Street had dried, there was a glut of such reports on eve-teasing. Is it the handiwork of the powerful five-star hotel lobby which is intent on taking business away from a Park Street that is being protrayed as a nasty alleyway to create a sense of insecurity and dissatisfaction among the family crowd whi-ch throngs the place on festive occasions'
Satheesh K. Kottarathil, Calcutta
Sir — The treatment the policemen meted out to their unsuspecting colleague is the same that they deliver to ordinary criminals and suspects holed up in the lock-ups without trial. Had Bapi Sen not been a policeman, he would have been just another of our unsung heroes.
N. Chatterjee, Calcutta