Indian media: Aarushi murder case

Rajesh Talwar and his wife Nupur Talwar are driven away in a police van after the verdict
Image caption Rajesh and Nupur Talwar are driven away in a police van after the verdict

Media are recalling the "twists and turns" of a long murder case after a court convicted a prosperous couple for the death of their teenage daughter and a Nepalese servant.

On Monday, dentists Rajesh and Nupur Talwar were found guilty of killing 14-year-old Aarushi and employee Hemraj Banjade at their home in an affluent Delhi suburb in 2008.

"It took five-plus years. Better late than never," says The Pioneer in its editorial.

"With the conviction of the well-connected Talwars, which brings the curtains down on one of the most talked about criminal cases in the country in recent years, India's criminal justice system has demonstrated that the law of the land applies equally to citizens regardless of their status," it adds.

But other papers are not convinced that justice has been done.

"Aarushi Talwar: Two murders, five years, many theories," reads a headline in the Deccan Chronicle.

The paper also carries an extensive picture gallery capturing different stages of the case.

"This can be called India's most mysterious murder, as there were no direct eye-witness and throughout, Rajesh and Nupur Talwar had maintained they were innocent," says one of the captions.

"As far as bizarre twists and turns go, the Aarushi Talwar case has been a case to beat all murder cases in recent times," the Hindustan Times says in an editorial, adding that "the manner in which the investigation was conducted leaves much to be desired".

The daily questions the professionalism of the investigating authorities and concludes that the police" do not have much regard for collecting evidence in a proper manner".

An article published on the website of TV channel CNN-IBN also voices the opinion that "the repeated flip flops by investigating agencies, the different conclusions over time have always failed to convince many regarding the case".

Mumbai attacks anniversary

Newspapers are also marking the fifth anniversary of the Mumbai attacks, which left nearly 200 people dead and prompted a storm of criticism of security arrangements.

Warning that lessons from the event "must not go unaddressed", an article in the Hindustan Times calls for improvements to India's defences, including better street-level security, police reforms and political consensus on the issue.

The Hindu reports that India's intelligence agencies continue to run with "staffing deficits of up to 40%", which weakens the country's readiness to deal with similar attacks in the future.

"It's about time someone took this seriously", the paper quotes a former intelligence head as saying.

The financial daily Mint says the relatives of many of those who died in the tragedy continue to wait for government assistance.

Moving on to other news, the Bombay Stock Exchange index soared by 388 points on Monday following the announcement of Iran's nuclear deal with major world powers, The Times of India reports.

It adds that investors are hoping for a drop in the country's high fuel prices, "one of the main reasons for the current high inflation and weak rupee".

Elsewhere, nearly 500 children have fallen ill in Mumbai after eating cakes served as part of a free lunch at school under the country's Mid-Day Meal scheme, a report in The Indian Express says.

The scheme is said to be the world's largest such programme and is meant to guarantee better nutrition and school attendance for poor children, but came under severe criticism in July when 23 students died of food poisoning at a school in the eastern state of Bihar.

And finally, a survey by the Inter-Parliamentary Union, an international body, has found that women have only 11% representation in the Indian parliament, compared to a global average of 21.3%, according to a report in The Times of India.

"The patriarchal hereditary nature of Indian politics requires intervention at many levels," the paper cites an expert as saying.

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