This refers to the self-immolation by Gopal Kishan Kashyap, protesting on behalf of hawkers, in Patiala. That the people present at the scene were so heartless as not to prevent the incident is appalling. Such acts should be prevented at the start by persuasion or force.

M. Muthukrishnan,
Bangalore

What happened in Patiala in broad daylight in full of view of the police, journalists, and the people was horrible and unbelievable. Whatever Gopal's compulsions, civil society should not have allowed him to take the extreme step. What was more unfortunate is the media presentation. Many television channels repeatedly showed a video clip of the incident. Is everything only a news item for them?

Bijoy Ananda Langthsa,
Nazira, Assam

While the incident is unfortunate, the Punjab Chief Minister's announcement of an ex-gratia of Rs.10 lakh to the bereaved family and a government job to the victim's son, is unacceptable. Politicians are mocking the law and setting a bad precedent by announcing such monetary relief.

Balaji Viswanath,
Vellore, T.N.