Indian media: Government criticised over Muzaffarnagar

Troops from the Indian Army continue to patrol parts of violence-hit Muzzafarnagar
Image caption Troops continue to patrol parts of violence-hit Muzzafarnagar

The government in the northern Indian state of Uttar Pradesh comes in for criticism over its failure to curb religious violence that has left more than 30 dead.

Clashes broke out in Muzaffarnagar town of the state on Saturday after Hindu farmers held a meeting to protest against the killing of three men who had spoken out against the alleged harassment of a local woman.

"Muzaffarnagar violence is of a scale unseen in the state perhaps since the early 90s. For failing to avert and contain this eruption, the responsibility lies squarely with Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav," The Indian Express reports.

The paper notes that several "smaller" clashes have taken place since Mr Yadav's party won elections last year

"This is not an isolated incident in Uttar Pradesh. There have been scores of smaller confrontations in the last year, after the Samajwadi Party came to power, and several lives have been lost in the clashes," it adds.

Moreover, The Hindu feels previous chief minister Mayawati controlled communal conflicts better.

"For all of Mayawati's faults, she ran an efficient administration that acted at the first sign of communal trouble," the paper says.

The Times of India also feels that the violence could have been stopped despite different elements raking up religious sentiments in the state.

"Whichever agents may have poured oil into the simmering pot, the administration had ample time to anticipate and avert an explosion," the paper says.

Mr Yadav, however, said his government is trying to bring peace to the town.

"The government would deal strictly with all those who have tried to create communal chasm and harm the atmosphere of Muzaffarnagar and Uttar Pradesh.

" It would be our efforts that communal amity is strengthened and no new incidents are allowed to take place in areas where [the] situation has been brought under control," The Economic Times quoted Mr Yadav as saying.

Praise for Paes

Indian newspapers also welcome the International Olympic Committee's (IOC) decision to reinstate wrestling in the summer games.

The Hindu feels that India, where the sport is widely popular, has a reason to cheer as "it has won three medals in wrestling in the last two editions of the Olympics".

Meanwhile, a court in Delhi has given bail to cricketer Ajit Chandila, nearly four months after he was arrested for his alleged involvement in spot-fixing in the Indian Premier Leagued (IPL) tournament, The Hindu reports.

Chandila is one of the three high-profile cricketers who were arrested over spot-fixing allegations in the IPL in May. He has denied the allegations.

Staying with sports, the media is praising Indian tennis star Leander Paes after he became the oldest player to win a grand slam.

The 40-year old partnered with Radek Stepanek, 34, to script a victory against Austria's Alexander Peya and Brazil's Bruno Soares in the US Open men's doubles finals on Sunday, the Hindustan Times reports.

Paes has proved that "age is indeed just an impediment that needs to be tackled in the mind," says The Times of India.

And finally, Monday marked the start of Ganesh festival in India.

Hindus celebrate Lord Ganesh's birthday on this day, but in some parts of the country festivities continue for 10 days.

Ganesh is depicted with an elephant's head on a human body and in the Hindu tradition he is the son of Lord Shiva and the goddess Parvati. He is known as the Remover of Obstacles and is prayed to particularly when people are beginning a new enterprise or starting a new business.

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