Indian media: Chinese general's warning against border deployment

Media feel Indian Defence Minister AK Antony will have to walk a diplomatic tightrope in China
Image caption Media feel Indian Defence Minister AK Antony will have to walk a diplomatic tightrope in China

Media in India feel a Chinese general's "warning" against deploying more troops in border areas may "cast a shadow" on Defence Minister AK Antony's Beijing visit.

Major General Luo Yuan of the People's Liberation Army on Thursday warned India not to "provoke new problems and "stir up" trouble by increasing military deployment in border areas, reports say.

The Hindustan Times feels the general's comments have "struck a controversial note" ahead of Mr Antony's meeting with Chinese leaders during his three-day visit, which starts on Friday.

"He (General Luo) is allowed to frequently voice his often strongly nationalistic opinions even on state media outlets has been seen by some analysts as suggesting that he enjoys backing among certain sections of the party and military," says The Hindu.

The paper, however, feels that "more moderate voices in the Chinese strategic community see Mr Antony's visit as a useful opportunity" to solve border disputes.

"The remarks pointed to differences between the Chinese defence establishment and the foreign ministry, which seeks a much broader relationship with India beyond the border issue," The Times of India says.

In domestic news, newspapers are concerned over the timing and implementation of the Food Security Bill, which will subsidise food for two-thirds of the population.

The Asian Age, in its editorial, calls the bill a "good development" but adds that "the efficacy and intent of this policy will be in the implementation".

Hindi newspaper Jansatta feels the ruling Congress party-led government approved the bill to woo voters in the general elections due in 2014.

The Hindustan Times says the timing of the bill "is all wrong, making everyone suspicious" about whether the government is "only interested in the votes".

Staying with national news, newspapers are calling for punishing those responsible for the killing of female student Ishrat Jahan in a "staged" clash with police in 2004.

The Central Bureau of Investigation, India's top investigation agency, on Wednesday told a court that police and intelligence officials killed Ishrat Jahan and three others in a "staged" clash in 2004, reports say.

The police and intelligence officials, however, deny the allegations - they say Ms Jahan and the others were part of a banned Pakistan-based militant group.

The Indian Express says "extra-judicial killings are an unacceptable phenomenon" and adds that if Ms Jahan was "indeed killed in a fake encounter, then all those responsible must be punished".

Meanwhile, Vijay Bahuguna, the chief minister of Uttarakhand state, says those missing in the flood-affected areas will be presumed dead if they remain untraced until 15 July, the CNN-IBN website reports.

'Village of widows'

Moving on to some inspiring initiatives, The Deccan Herald praises Sulabh International, a group working to raise awareness on sanitation, for adopting a "village of widows" in Uttarakhand.

Most men of the Deoli-Bramhagram village worked at the Kedarnath shrine and believed to have died in flash floods, the paper adds.

Elsewhere, The Devnar Foundation for the Blind, a non-governmental organisation, is all set to open India's first engineering college for visually impaired students, The Times of India reports.

In sports, discus thrower Vikas Gowda on Thursday won India's first gold in the ongoing Asian Athletics Championships in the western Indian city of Pune, the Zee News website reports.

Staying with sports, India has the second highest number of tennis fans after the US, the Deccan Herald reports, citing a study by Facebook.

The social media website said the study was based on an "analysis of all conversations among users" from 24 June to 1 July during the ongoing Wimbledon championship.

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