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Letters to the Editor: Mob violence and police

The strident demand for a separate law to tackle increasing incidents of mob violence in the state may not address the problem as anticipated by the public.

Letters to the Editor

Sentinel Digital Desk

Mob violence and police

The strident demand for a separate law to tackle increasing incidents of mob violence in the state may not address the problem as anticipated by the public. This is because the multiplicity of laws in India is an impediment rather than a facilitator to curb crimes including the menace of mob violence. Instead, the states and also Central government should remove the shortcomings in existing laws, particularly Witness Protection Act and also address systemic issues related to an investigation by police.

The key to ensuring quick and reasonable justice for victims of any crime is a thorough and impartial investigation by police to prepare a watertight case to withstand intense legal scrutiny. The biggest hurdle in

this matter is lack of witnesses who voluntarily come forward to depose against the accused fearing reprisals and revenge subsequently by the accused as police are unable to afford round the clock protection to those witnesses. The inability of the police to inspire confidence in the public to cooperate in dealing with mob violence is to be blamed for this. In the recent Jorhat mob lynching case, despite frantic appeals by Jorhat Police and senior cops, none has so far come forward to give evidence. When several cops present in the scene of violence on an ill-fated day couldn't stop a mob of around 50 (as per media reports) hoodlums merciless beating of youth resulting in the death of one and grievously injuring two others on the plea that they were unarmed (as stated by Jorhat SP in defence of their inaction), how can common citizens summon the courage to confront the hooligans? Herein lies the importance to implement the Witness Protection Act in true spirit by police as the past track record on this score is awful. The poor image and low credibility of police with the public are the connected issues the government has to grapple with seriousness if it really wants to stamp out the menace of mob lynching.

This is also the reason why a majority of people are sceptical of an SIT probe in the Jorhat lynching case by cops rather than a court-monitored SIT.

As demonstrated in other lynching cases in Assam, police have completed the investigation and submitted the charge sheet in court without a law exclusively meant for mob violence. Therefore, the need of the hour is to deal with the underlying causes rather than adding another law. Unemployment, drug abuse and a tardy criminal justice delivery system are contributory factors for mob violence. Focused attention and resolute action are called for to address these risk factors in order to deal with mob violence effectively.

Rajib Sarma,

Guwahati

Blockchain school education

Cryptocurrencies have been infamous for (i) being used as a medium of transaction in the Dark Web, (ii) volatility in prices due to speculative trading, (iii) being unregulated in most countries and (iv) being a threat to fiat money. The Indian government, taking cognizance of these risks, is planning to table a bill in the Parliament on regulating cryptocurrencies.

However, what has been realized by most countries, including India, is the potential of the technology behind cryptocurrencies i.e., Blockchain Technology. The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) is already exploring options to issue a digital rupee using Blockchain Technology. The application of Blockchain Technology, however, is not just confined to issuing money or banking or being a platform for the development of cryptocurrencies. It has a multitude of applications, ranging from the Healthcare industry to Smart Contracts to Logistics to many more.

The Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) using this emerging technology, recently introduced a blockchain-based system Academic BlockChain Documents (ABCD) to go paperless and issue secure and tamper-proof certificates. The Board of Secondary Education, Assam (SEBA) and the Assam Higher Secondary Education Council (AHSEC) have been taking some welcome steps towards digitization. However, mere digitization comes with problems of data theft, hacking and tampering of data. If the two bodies could make use of blockchain technology, they would be able to issue secure and tamper-proof documents like CBSE. The higher education institutes and employers would be able to verify the authenticity of documents submitted by the candidates in an efficient manner without taking much processing time. There would also be no need to depend on a third party for any verification. The authenticity of the certificates could be verified even after several years and a timeline of any changes made would be available. SEBA and AHSEC can go completely paperless. This technology would make the two bodies more efficient and reliable.

Our honourable Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma recently unveiled an implementation strategy of National Education Policy (NEP) in Assam. Integrating it with blockchain would not only make it efficient but also secure. Assam would become one of the first states to employ such a technology in the education sector and thus, not only contributing to our honourable Prime Minister's vision of Digital India but, going a step further and setting an example in making a Secure Digital India.

Arunav Das,

Cedar Road, Guwahati

The other Aurangzeb

During our student days, we were taught and asked about the reasons for the downfall of the Mughal empire. One of the main reasons for the downfall was the extreme religious intolerance of the Mughal empires and more particularly Aurangzeb towards the Hindus. Random destructions of the Hindu temples across his empire and imposition of ZIZIYA tax upon the Hindus is a history. Very alarmingly, one of our own lawmakers, named Aminul Islam of AIUDF has brazenly stated that Aurangzeb donated lands for the world-famous Shaktipeeth, KAMAKHYA temple, situated in the iconic Nilachal Hills. As expected, it was supported by another 'historian' from APCC named Debabrata Saikia, a comrade in the arms of Bhupen Bora. So, it is yet another ploy of the state Congress after Bhupen Bora's antics to appease one religious linguistic minority community by distorting even state history. Sherman Ali, Aminul Islam, Debabrata Saikia are the secularists who can even distort history for their political gains. According to Aminul Islam, like India our neighbours Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan are all secular countries. What a travesty of truth. The above-mentioned lawmakers are the fallout of the Indian type of secularism.

JAI AI ASOM, JAI HIND.

Joel Goyari,

Tangla.

A stitch in time saves nine

The above mentioned time tested advice, seems to carry no meaning to the powers that be in the Public Work Department/GMC. I have been a resident of Rukmininagar West Path for some time now, and have noticed some potholes in the by-lane that is a very busy one from GNRC to main Beltola Road. This road also has a State Government Directorate and the residence of Late Bhumidhar Barman. About six months back, it developed some holes in a small portion of the road and during rainy days, it turns out to be a nightmare for pedestrians and vehicle drivers. Had the holes been repaired at the beginning, the condition could not have deteriorated as of now, but the powers that be do not work to repair small damaged portions and save a lot of money. Even at this stage, if repairing is done, then a lot of money would be saved and people at large would be benefitted. The cleaning of drains by GMC also appears to be half-hearted. While one side drain was cleaned about a fortnight back, another side still remains unattended. This needs to be looked into and also the damaged portion of the road needs to be repaired immediately.

PK Gupta,

Rukmininagar,

Guwahati


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