This refers to the screaming headline "Witnesses fail to identify Varanasi blast suspects" (March 13). Were the witnesses expected to identify the `suspects?' What a dangerous expectation, considering the police had picked them up on the basis of some sketches. Imagine the mental trauma undergone by the two `suspects' until acquitted by the eyewitnesses!

Also imagine what the slightest lapse of observation, memory or integrity on the part of any of the witnesses could have led to.

Gulnar Khan,
Chennai

* * *

The practice of investigating agencies suspecting the same groups whenever there is a bomb blast will make it convenient for other outfits with sinister plans to carry out destruction and conveniently remain unknown.

T.K. Abdul Rahim,
Chennai

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The people are least bothered about whether it is the Lashkar-e-Taiba, the Jaish-e-Mohammed or the Harkat-ul-Mujahideen that perpetrated the blasts. The need of the hour is to bring the culprits to justice.

None should be allowed to take undue advantage of the blasts, resulting in a community being isolated from the mainstream. It is the terrorists who should be isolated from the people.

S. Padmanabha Mallya,
Kochi, Kerala

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After every terror attack, our intellectuals, mullahs and Muslim organisations condemn it. They say that it is an act by misguided Muslims and that violence has no sanction in Islam. Why then do they not protest against jihadi terrorism?

There were widespread protests by Muslims against Prophet Muhammed's cartoons, which appeared in the European media. Why are similar protests not taken out condemning the bomb blasts?

C.S. Sundaresha,
Bangalore

* * *

From the editorial "Playing with fire in U.P." (March 11), it appears that raising communal passions is the sole purpose of L.K. Advani's proposed rath yatra. Cross-border terrorism has penetrated deep into all parts of the country. The brand of secularism based on vote bank politics has also been instrumental in its rise.

True, rath yatras are not the answer to terrorism. What they intend to achieve can also be done by educating people on the need for communal harmony. People from all communities can be invited to participate in such meetings.

V.N. Ramachandran,
Mississauga, Ontario

* * *

The yatra syndrome is indeed irritating. Maybe, Mr. Advani should be awarded the Yatra Shree. It is for society to pinch itself into the realisation that the BJP is only for a majoritarian rule, not democracy.

Sqn Ldr B.G. Prakash,
Bangalore

* * *

Mr. Advani's decision to embark on another yatra and attempts by both the ruling party and the Opposition to politicise the attack need to stop.

Jeyshree Jayaraman,
Coimbatore

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The terrorists would have surely expected violence after the blasts. But Varanasi is too stoic and resilient a city to play into their hands. The people have stood up to their reputation and glorious past. Such solidarity can be seen only in a city where both Goswami Tulsidas and Ustad Bismillah Khan are revered. The people of Varanasi know that violence is not the answer to violence.

Arjun Narayanan,
Thrissur, Kerala

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The perpetrators of the Varanasi blasts, in their desperate bid to revive terror, seem to have underestimated the emerging strength of the people's collective spirit against terrorism. The casualties are unfortunate but they should strengthen the people's resolve to wipe out the scourge.

D.K. Singh,
Visakhapatnam, A.P.

* * *

Hindus of Varanasi rightly left the issue to the Government and police. This is because while Hindus respect their religious leaders, they ignore their political opinions. On the other hand, it is the clergy that provides political leadership to Muslims. Quite a bit of their backwardness arises from the wrong guidance of their clergy. The violent protests against Prophet Muhammed's cartoons are an example.

K. Madhava Sarma,
Chennai