Work and play
Sir — Politicians are expected to deal with serious concerns like public health, education and transportation, among other things. Occasional frivolous potshots aimed at one’s rivals notwithstanding, their image is that of a person with gravitas. So it is refreshing to see a political leader engaging in a video game played by the masses. Bhupesh Baghel, the chief minister of Chhattisgarh, was seen playing Candy Crush on his mobile phone during a meeting. While his opponents have accused him of dereliction of duty by trivialising an important meeting, he has rightly hit back by stating that like his constituents he also enjoys the online game. Perhaps Baghel’s detractors should remember that all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.
Shyam Kumar Sahu, Raipur
Sir — The decision of the Allahabad High Court to acquit the businessman, Moninder Singh Pandher, and his servant, Surendra Koli, the two accused in the infamous Nithari killings, owing to inconclusive evidence, has understandably generated a sharp wave of criticism (“Nithari duo acquitted of murders”, Oct 17). The allegation that the investigators from the Central Bureau of Investigation spoke gently to Pandher and Koli but scolded the family members of the victims harshly while conducting their probe reveals their biased attitude. Our overloaded justice system, too, has allowed the case to be dragged on for more than 15 years. While this verdict will surely be challenged in a higher court, it undermines the people’s faith in the judiciary.
Aayman Anwar Ali, Calcutta
Sir — It seems that the acquittal of the accused in the Nithari killings is a result of the CBI’s incompetence (“HC punches holes in Nithari probe”, Oct 17). Both Moninder Singh Pandher and Surendra Koli had been sentenced to death at first but they managed to get their death sentences commuted and, now, they have been acquitted. Most of the victims belonged to working-class families. The acquittal of Pandher has strengthened the accusation that he has received favourable treatment due to his wealth. The CBI failed to present a watertight case even in the Aarushi Talwar double murder case. It should now make every effort to bring justice to the victims’ families in the Nithari killings if it is to regain people’s confidence.
Abhijit Roy, Jamshedpur
Sir — The acquittal of the convicts in the Nithari killings brings back unpleasant memories of the Naina Sahni and Jessica Lal murder cases. The observation by
the court that the investigation has been botched up by the CBI reflects poorly
on the nation’s criminal justice system. The question that lingers is this: who is responsible for the gruesome killings of the children? If the accused are not guilty, then the long jail term they have suffered is unwarranted. The verdict further confirms the validity of the adage: ‘justice delayed is justice denied’.
Yeshu Mishra, Bengaluru
Sir — Calling the verdict in the Nithari killings case shocking would be an understatement. If neither Moninder Singh Pandher nor Surendra Koli are guilty, then who killed all those children? The court’s censure is a body blow to the CBI, which failed to provide conclusive evidence against the accused despite taking over the investigation within a few weeks of the murders being brought to light. It appears that the family members of the victims have been cheated of justice after an almost 17-year trial.
Bal Govind, Noida
Sir — The acquittal of Surendra Koli and Moninder Singh Pandher has shocked the nation especially as inconclusive evidence has been stated as the reason for the acquittal. The verdict has rightly sparked outrage among the families of the victims. There should be a thorough review of the existing evidence and the legal procedures surrounding the case.
D. Bhattacharyya, Calcutta
Sir — Probing questions need to be asked if a large number of seats remain vacant at a World Cup match amidst claims that tickets have already been sold out. It is astonishing that such valid questions have angered and invited sharp retorts from former cricketers like Sunil Gavaskar (“Ignore empty seats, enjoy the game”, Oct 15). Why should so many empty seats, depriving genuine enthusiasts of the experience of watching a live match, be ignored? Gavaskar’s reasoning that many people might give the match a miss due to prior commitments is absurd. The so-called uninteresting matches, featuring teams other than the home team, should be scheduled at venues that will not have a problem filling the stadiums to full capacity.
Kajal Chatterjee, Calcutta
Sir — The empty seats during the match between England and New Zealand at Ahmedabad reflect poorly on the organisers. Only a limited number of seats are available to the general public owing to excessive reservations while allotting tickets — be it for other cricket associations, sponsors, commercial partners or VIPs. This also results in exorbitant pricing and illegal sales of tickets.
Subhash Das, Calcutta
Sir — The election results declared in Poland this week are being seen as a victory for anti-Russian forces. The nation, even after moving away from the Soviet Union’s sphere of influence, remained under the control of right-wing parties. But the recent results have made it clear that the nationalist conservative party, Law and Justice, will fail to retain its majority in the Polish Parliament. Donald Tusk, the leader of the centrist Civic Coalition, is likely to form the government. This outcome will no doubt make both the European Union and Ukraine very happy.
Jang Bahadur Singh, Jamshedpur