India

Indian media: Kashmir killings threaten peace talks with Pakistan

Image caption Five Indian soldiers were killed on Tuesday in Indian-administered Kashmir

Media feel the killing of five soldiers in Indian-administered Jammu and Kashmir may "cast a shadow" over the proposed peace talks with Pakistan.

India's army on Tuesday accused Pakistan over the incident, saying troops had "entered the Indian area and ambushed" an army patrol in the Poonch area in Jammu region.

A Pakistani military official, however, said "no fire took place" from their side.

The latest incident comes as the two sides are preparing for peace talks, the first since a new Pakistani government took office, to be held on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly in September.

"The incident sets back the move for resumption of bilateral talks and again casts doubts on Pakistan's ability and sincerity in pursuing the peace process. The proposed meeting between the prime ministers of both countries in New York next month will also be under a shadow," says the Deccan Herald.

The Hindu says "the attacks have taken place when prospects for resumption of peace talks had brightened with a new government being placed in the saddle in Islamabad".

The Hindustan Times feels the meeting, if it takes place, "will be reduced to a cosmetic exercise, perhaps no more than a photo opportunity between the two".

Moving on to business news, Raghuram Rajan, the new chief of India's central bank, feels there in "no magic wand" to fix the country's struggling economy.

Mr Rajan, a former chief economist at the International Monetary Fund, is also known for predicting the 2008 global economic crisis and many hope his understanding of the world economy will help India get back on the growth trajectory, The Indian Express reports.

Staying with the economy, India has slipped out of the "elite global league of stock markets with a trillion-dollar valuation" with the rupee hitting its all-time low of 61.80 against the dollar on Tuesday, reports the Times of India.

Facebook arrest

Meanwhile, the dream of a Kashmiri teenager to study in the US may come true after a "prompt intervention" by the state's Chief Minister Omar Abdullah.

Her request for a passport was earlier rejected over her uncle's alleged links with militants, The Tribune reports .

"The chief minister said Sufaira Jan, 15, a resident of central Kashmir's Budgam district, would not be denied passport merely because of her uncle's militant past," the report adds.

Newspapers, including The Deccan Herald and The Pioneer, have expressed concern over the arrest of a "pro-Dalit (low-caste Hindu) thinker" over his Facebook post in support of the suspended civil servant Durga Shakti Nagpal.

"The Uttar Pradesh police on Tuesday arrested Dalit thinker Kanwal Bharti in Rampur town for posting a message on Facebook criticising the [Chief Minister] Akhilesh Yadav government for the suspension of Ms Nagpal," says the Deccan Herald.

Ms Nagpal was suspended on 27 July. The authorities said she approved the demolition of a mosque wall in Gautam Buddh Nagar district "without following the due process".

But the decision has not gone down well with some of her senior colleagues and the media, who feel the officer was suspended for taking a tough stand against the local sand-mining mafia.

Elsewhere, more than 1,000 personnel of the paramilitary Central Reserve Police Force have pledged to donate their organs to save lives, reports the Zee News website.

And finally, India's Olympics champions are not getting enough support from the corporate sector to help them prepare for future events or nurture fresh talent, The Times of India reports.

"The euphoria following India's improved performance in London Games - where the country won two silver medals and four bronzes - may have lasted for months but it wasn't enough to convince corporate to make a move away from the cricketers," the paper adds.

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