Letters to the Editor
Sir, - Even before the draconian Prevention of Terrorism Ordinance(POTO) could be considered by Parliament, it has bared its fangs in Kashmir. On Sunday, the police sealed a house in Safakalal locality and threw the inmates out. The charges are that arms and ammunitions were recovered from the house of Ghulam Mohammed Dar and that it was being used by Al-Badr militants. (The Government has since ordered restoration of the house to the owners).
Humanity has been sacrificed at the altar of police authoritarianism. Even assuming that the facts stated are correct, does it mean that innocent women and children have to suffer? This incident is enough to expose the intentions of those who are advocating enactment of the law. We have suffered enough under one Emergency. Do we need another?
All the so-called safeguards in the act are an illusion. Not only should civil rights activists be vigilant, the courts should also rise to the occasion, especially when the National Human Rights Commission, presided over by a former Chief Justice of the Court, has opposed it. It is high time that the Government stops playing politics and withdraws the POTO. There is no question of pride and ego in this. There are enough laws available to meet the situations contemplated under the ordinance.
Habibullah Badsha, Chennai
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