Voice from the Rooftop

Blog of Vincent Augustine D'Souza

Riots in Punjab

In Vienna, on 24/5/2009, some Sikhs entered a place of prayer and attacked some people, which resulted in death and injury. Whether the place was a gurudwara or temple or something else is a matter of dispute. Whether the people attacked were Sikhs is also a matter of dispute. Some call them Ravidasis and say they are not Sikhs.

The attack was a crime. The attackers should be tried for murder and hanged. Austria should reinstate death penalty.

That day and next day there was violence in Punjab. Trains, buses and cars were burnt. Many buildings were burnt. Many passengers were stranded in railway stations and bus stations in Punbaj and outside Punjab. P. Chidambaram said that in some places curfew was imposed and not enforced as he could see people moving around and it had to enforced.

Riots need to be put down with a firm hand. Nobody has the right to damage public or private property and stop people from travelling. Police persons should be allowed to do their duty. Many times political interference renders police force ineffective. Sometimes even police persons, vehicles and stations are attacked. One police officer who ordered firing to quell a riot had to appear before an enquiry commission. Later he was tried in court and awarded life imprisonment. If he had not fired he and other people might have been killed or wounded and riots could have spread. In Bhiwandi police were soft and two of them were burnt. Those who do their duty should not be punished. In Rome city officials who did not quell riots had to face punishment which could have been death penalty. If there was too much trouble in any city it was flattered. Those who rioted in Punjab need to be punished. Being soft on rioters saying they did not attack other people but burnt vehicles is not acceptable.

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