Afzalís secret hanging was right

This refers to the Speak Out column, "Right to keep Guru's hanging secret, say residents" (Chandigarh Newsline, February 10). The government certainly did the right thing in hanging the Parliament attack mastermind Afzal Guru till death in a secret way. This was necessary to avoid any kind of protest that may have taken place against the hanging. The atmosphere could have been disturbed and violence could have erupted in many parts of the country had the hanging been announced in advance. The government should also be prepared to face the post-hanging protests and see that nothing is done to disturb the prevailing peace in the country. Now, the government should also hang all those who are facing the death sentence and whose mercy petitions have been pending with the President for quite a long time. There are heartless murderers still alive in Tihar Jail and other jails of the country. They must also be sent to the gallows like Kasab and Afzal Guru without any mercy.

R K Kapoor, CHANDIGARH

Mental disorders on the rise

A rather unfortunate situation seems to be gripping India on account of the rapid rise in mental illnesses, a situated which has been aggravated by the ignorance and stigma associated with such illnesses. Mental health is a highly neglected area in which awareness is low even among health professionals. Cases are rising due to stress, increased competition, family disputes, problems at the work place and certain genetic factors. Early identification and intervention can contribute to effective treatment. Public education and efforts to change the attitude of the general population towards persons with mental illness need to be carried out. Even mental illnesses need mass public campaigns and media support for spreading awareness. Often physicians are not well equipped to notice symptoms related to mental illnesses. Special training camps should be organised for them to deal with psychiatric cases.

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