India

Indian media: Mixed views on Pakistan talks

The killing of Indian soldiers have a cast a shadow over peace talks with Pakistan
Image caption The killing of Indian soldiers have a cast a shadow over peace talks with Pakistan

Media in India are expressing mixed views on whether India should hold peace talks with Pakistan following the killing of five soldiers in Indian-administered Kashmir.

India's army on Tuesday accused Pakistan over the incident, saying their troops had "entered the Indian area and ambushed" an army patrol in Poonch in the 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 Hindustan Times, in its editorial, says that such "grave provocations have to be tempered with pragmatism. At the moment, to be very realistic, India's best bet is to talk to them and at least gauge what measures can be taken to avert such incidents in the future".

The Indian Express, on the other hand, feels that by cracking under pressure, the government has "put dialogue with Pakistan at risk".

The paper adds that "giving vent to aggression will only hurt at a juncture when the US withdrawal from Afghanistan is set to unleash a period of instability".

The Times of India, however, says the killings of five soldiers "needs to be condemned in the harshest terms" and the army must "beef up its preparedness and strengthen its tactics" at the border.

Meanwhile, the federal government has set up its own social media wing to counter online rumours and hate campaigns, the NDTV website reports.

The wing will try to "lift the government's flagging image ahead of next year's elections amid an upsurge of negative reports and criticism", it adds.

Moving on to business news, both houses of the parliament have passed a new Companies Bill aimed at protecting the interest of employees and small investors, The Indian Express reports.

The Companies Bill replaced the nearly 50-year-old Companies Act, the report adds.

"The focus of the bill is to enhance transparency and ensure fewer regulations, self reporting and disclosure...It will outline the positivity in the economy", Corporate Affairs Minister Sachin Pilot said.

'Butcher dad'

Elsewhere, the Supreme Court has stayed the execution of Maganlal Barela, who was sentenced to death for beheading his five daughters, hours before he was due to be hanged, The Hindu reports.

The court stayed the execution because the "butcher dad" had not received any information about the president's rejection of his mercy plea, reports say.

Barela killed his five daughters - aged between one and six years - with an axe in the village of Kaneria in the central Indian state of Madhya Pradesh on 11 June, 2010. He tried to hang himself after the crime, but was unsuccessful.

Moving on to sports, India is eyeing a historic medal tally at the ongoing World Badminton Championships in China with PV Sindhu registering a stunning 21-18 23-21 win over defending champion Yihan Wang on Thursday.

Sindhu along with Saina Nehwal and P Kashyap are just a win away from securing at least a bronze medal each in the championship, the Mid-Day website reports.

In hockey, the former coach of the men's national team, Michael Nobbs, says at least seven girls in the junior India squad that won a historic World Cup bronze in Germany on Sunday "were suffering from anaemia".

"It's a very common among girls and in India it is acute. How do you expect the girls to match the healthier and stronger European girls in a world competition? Considering this, the bronze (India beat England) has been a brilliant achievement," the NDTV website quotes Nobbs as saying.

And finally, a buffalo named Laxmi (wealth) has been sold for 2.5m rupees (£26,491;$ 41,165) in Singwa Khas village in the northern state of Haryana, Hindustan Times.

What is special about Laxmi is that she has "walked many beauty ramps and won all contests 'tail down'...[and] promises the buyer 30 litres milk per day and big cash prizes in other cattle competitions," the website adds.

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