This refers to ‘Five SIMI activists shot dead on way to court in Telangana’ (IE, April 8), which mentioned that “among the dead is Vikaruddin Ahmed, who killed two cops and terrorised them in Hyderabad by targeting them whenever possible”. It is remarkable that such casual assertions and loose language were allowed to appear in a national daily reputed for reporting the facts. The police told The Indian Express that “Vikaruddin and his associates, continuously incited the armed escort by spitting at them, taunting and abusing them as soon as they started from Warangal”. The report went on to add that Vikaruddin was “a former SIMI activist and member of the radical social outfit Darsgah Jehad O Shahadat” and that he had “made some daring attacks on police pickets on the anniversaries of Babri Masjid and Mecca Masjid blast”. Had he been found guilty by a court of law for the said activities? Probably not since he was attending court as an undertrial. But that didn’t stop the paper from suggesting that he had done it.
— Shadab Arab, Delhi
Learn from mum
This refers to ‘Spotted’ (IE, April 17). Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi’s nearly two-month-long, mysterious “soul-searching sabbatical” has come to an end. He has returned and Congressmen are hopeful that the tottering party’s second-in-command is mentally re-energised so that he can lead it with greater vigour and skill. Party members are also hopeful that Rahul will have the acumen and capacity to reinvigorate and reinvent the 129-year-old organisation. There are several pending issues that require the attention of mother and son. For one, Rahul needs to decide if he wants to be party president. But one thing is certain: Sonia Gandhi has shown that she can galvanise the opposition against the government. She led the march to Rashtrapati Bhavan against the land acquisition ordinance and also rallied round former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh when he was summoned in the coal case.
— J. Akshay, Bangalore
A difficult marriage
This merger of six political parties in the name of safeguarding secularism and countering the growing clout of the BJP is laughable. It seems to be just another desperate ploy to grab power by strategically reducing the non-BJP choices in the electoral contest and consolidating votes. Considering the fate of previous such combines, which rapidly disintegrated after coming to power because of ego clashes, caution is warranted.
— Ashok K. Ashu, Patiala
This refers to ‘PM targets UPA: Will clean its mess’ (IE, April 17). While talking about his ambitions and aspirations for India, Prime Minister Narendra Modi should not have made comments about the mess that was created by the previous government. I am not an admirer of the Congress or the BJP, but by attacking the Opposition while on a foreign tour, the prime minister wrongly washed dirty linen in public. Besides, foreign investors are equally concerned about hate speech and the vandalisation of churches as policy paralysis, uncertainty and corruption. What’s the PM doing about those problems?
— C.B. Vastrad, Pune