The editorial, `Killing with impunity' (Jan. 3), rightly asks Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar not to politicise Sunday's burning to death of six persons in Vaishali district and instead work towards ending the lawlessness in the State.

However, one fears the event has already been politicised. Just hours after the incident, the former Chief Minister, Rabri Devi, declared on television that it was a result of Mr. Nitish Kumar's rule. She also claimed that Bijendra Mahto, whose house was burnt, had actively campaigned for the RJD in the recent elections.

Our politicians should learn to be more sensitive and make constructive efforts to prevent them.

Chandan Pansari,
New Delhi

It looks as if the Nitish Kumar Government's political rivals have been swift to capitalise on the publicity generated by the Vaishali massacre.

This shows the Opposition leaders have not learnt any lessons from their defeat in the elections.

Megha A.,
Hyderabad

Attempts will surely be made to inflame the situation to prevent the Government from taking the State towards economic development.

What is needed is a calm but professional handling of the situation.

R. Devarajan,
New Delhi

Another revelation of the deep-rooted casteist prejudices in our villages. Since the people of Bihar who voted for change rely on the Chief Minister for justice and rule of law, Mr. Nitish Kumar has to ensure the guilty are punished.

K.S. Sundaram,
Bangalore

Despite the change of government, the ground situation has not changed. Caste divisions and violence have certainly not ended. Mere administrative measures are not going to help.

A concerted effort by the Government, the educated Bihari elite, and the NGOs to bring in a "social renaissance" is urgently required.

Shahabuddin Nadeem,
Bangalore

It is ironical that a woman and her five children were burnt alive on the same day that Mr. Nitish Kumar resolved to build a "new Bihar." The Chief Minister and his team should work really hard to convert this resolution into action.

Swetha M.V.,
Tirunelveli, T.N.

It is a shame no action was taken by the police officials concerned despite Mr. Mahto's warnings of the danger to his family.

Why is the Government wasting the taxpayers money in retaining such officials in service? They should be immediately dismissed.

Balaji K.,
Coimbatore

The incident speaks volumes about the lawlessness prevailing in Bihar. The onus is on Mr. Nitish Kumar to take drastic measures to bring the criminals to book.

Rashmi Singh,
Visakhapatnam, A.P.

The feud over the theft of a buffalo that ultimately claimed six lives epitomises the oppression of some sections in our society. The woes of the Mahto family reflect the miseries of millions of our countrymen.

Amid such incidents, the celebrations to ring in the New Year appear futile. One only hopes we retain the basic essence of human nature.

Anuja Seith,
New Delhi