Now that Australian Prime Minister John Howard himself has promised a fair trial to Mohammed Haneef, charged with recklessly supporting terrorists involved in the failed bids in the U.K., we might as well stop the media trial and let the law take its own course.
We must remember that while Indian laws give a long rope to terrorists, murderers, and the corrupt, many advanced nations dole out summary capital punishment for crimes such as possession of drugs and corruption.
Col. C.V. Venugopalan (retd.),
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has asked the Australian Government to extend all facilities and rights legally permissible to Dr. Haneef.
But I wonder why thousands of persons are detained in our jails without trial for years. Let us first put our house in order.
Police investigations are cumbersome. They are even unethical, unscientific, and brutal at times. For Dr. Singh to appeal to the Australian government is not appropriate.
He must look at our own backyard to learn how the suspects are dealt with in our police stations.
There is no point in blaming governments that take extraordinary measures to protect their people. It is not a bad idea to treat terror suspects as terror suspects until proved otherwise.
All that the Australian police have proved so far is that Dr. Haneef gave his mobile phone SIM card to his cousins before leaving the U.K. a year ago, booked a one-way ticket to India, and chatted online with his cousin, who later got involved in an act of terror. Do these make one a terror suspect?
It is disheartening and distressful to read about the plight of Dr. Haneef. With each passing day, things are getting worse. I am extremely worried because I am an Asian, Indian, and a good samaritan. I have lent my SIM card to friends and family who come here from overseas for a short stay.
I think we should all wake up to the danger of doing something as harmless as lending our SIM card. I have lent even my mobile phones to my friends, and I have allowed my helpers and workers to use my number. I think I had better stop helping people.
Just imagine an Australian citizen in detention in India under similar circumstances. I am sure by now he would have been back safe and sound.
Australia should keep India informed about anything that requires it to keep Dr. Haneef in its custody.
It is unfortunate that the western world looks at the entire Muslim community with suspicion for the acts of a few of its members.
Baru Rajendra Prasad,
Hyderabad More than the Indian government’s reaction, which was knee-jerk, what is of great import is that the Australians have demanded that the rightful legal procedure be followed and Dr. Haneef be allowed to plead his case.