Terror strikes J&K amid political vacuum; Killing flies with sledgehammers; Wiser EC ducks Revdi debate

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Opinion Watch

Fidayeen terror attack struck Rajouri ahead of August 15. Rajouri is part of the new Parliamentary constituency proposed to be created in Jammu and Kashmir by the Delimitation Commission.

On August 15, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, when he unfurls the national flag and speaks from the ramparts of the Red Fort, will also not be saying that elections in J&K have been held and an elected government is running the affairs there.

The Times of India, calling for an early election in J&K, takes a grim view of the decision of the Election Commission to push back the publication of the final electoral roll of the Union Territory, saying it has security implications too.

Indeed, the security forces have gained success in eliminating terrorists such as Lateef, who was responsible for the killing of the TV artiste Amreen Bhat and revenue clerk Rahul Bhat in May.

Yet, the daily calls for strengthening of the civil society to root out the menace of terrorism. It adds that the attack on security establishment in Rajouri is part of the design of separatists to keep alive distinctive identities of Jammu and the valley.

The daily reminds that regions from the Anantnag in the valley and Rajouri and Poonch in Jammu are proposed to be merged for a new Parliamentary constituency, which will strike at the distinctiveness of the two regions.

Modi’s last Red Fort speech was interpreted to have indicated resolve of the government to hold elections in J&K within a year, and that deadline is indeed gone.

Additionally, there appears comfort in New Delhi in Manoj Sinha, the lieutenant governor of J&K running the show. But such comforts in the past had only been temporary.

Killing flies with sledgehammers   

India delights in enacting laws. There are laws even on ways a young man and woman should behave in public. That is the hallmark of a nation run by Babus.

Seventy per cent of prisoners in the country are under trials. That’s a sad commentary on India@75.

“The Supreme Court has done well to tell the government to come up with a plan to release from prisons undertrials and those convicted of minor offences to mark 75 years of Independence. A bench of Justices Sanjay Kishan Kaul and M M Sundresh proposed that prisoners who have been in jail for 10 years be released on bail and those who have been in jail for 14 years be considered for remission,” the Bengaluru-based Deccan Herald argued in its editorial.

The court’s view that inmates of prisons should ideally be let out on bail if the judiciary cannot decide their cases within 10 years is not new, added the daily.

But the dailies had called for compensations for the tribal inmates in Chhattisgarh who had been released for lack of evidences.

The debate should rather focus on reasons for such excessive numbers of undertrials in prisons.

The police and the investigative agencies may be nabbing too many people than warranted and they may be abandoned in jails by an overburdened police and judicial systems to rot.

The Economic Times in its Edit ‘Penalise seriously, not criminalise’ calls for de-criminalising offences which are minor in nature in the domains of economic impropriety and procedural violations.

“The 80 provisions that have bene identified across the Central and State laws, and the 850 plus provisions under examination, must be assessed for utility, intent and cost of non-compliance, while fixing penalties for violations,” the ET argued.

Wiser EC ducks Revdi debate    

Discussion on politics of freebies called Revdi by Prime Minister Narendra Modi has become the favourite time pass of arm-chair thinkers and television entertainers.

The Supreme Court too has sought to dabble into the debate by suggesting formation of a committee to look into the indulgence of the State Governments in the politics of freebies.

The trigger is the Reserve Bank of India report on the state of finances of the State Governments.

The dues of the power distribution companies are piling, and also that of the power generation companies.

The Election Commission in an affidavit, stated an editorial in the Indian Express, told the Supreme Court that it couldn’t be an arbiter in the issue.

The Revdi debate has pitched Modi against the Opposition-ruled States.

The issue remains subjective and open to interpretation, argued IE.

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