Indian media: Charlie Hebdo attack

Vigil in New York. 8 Jan 2015 Image copyright Reuters
Image caption This vigil in New York echoed the slogan "Je suis Charlie" (I am Charlie) in tribute to the victims

Media in India have strongly criticised the attack on the Paris offices of satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo.

Eight journalists - including the magazine's editor - died along with two policemen, a maintenance worker and a visitor when masked men armed with assault rifles stormed the Charlie Hebdo offices on Wednesday.

The magazine has angered some Muslims in the past by printing cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad. The offices were firebombed in 2011.

Most Indian papers and journalist see the incident as an attack on freedom of expression in France and around the world.

"Let me ask a very straightforward question: How can a few harmless, satirical cartoons published by a newspaper with just 30,000 subscriptions cause so much anger among jihadists?" asks an article in The Times of India.

The paper adds that "it is time to say in a unified voice that freedom of expression is a fundamental human right. And it includes the right to criticise each and every religion".

"It is human beings that have human rights. Not religions," the article adds.

Image copyright Times of India
Image copyright Hindustan Times
Image copyright The Indian Express

Writing in The Indian Express, senior journalist Praveen Swami argues that this attack "may be the first of the new wave of Europe-wide attacks by citizens of its member-states who have been trained and equipped by jihadist groups in Iraq and Syria, experts and intelligence services are warning".

Journalist Helene Ferrarini writes on the NDTV website that Charlie's columnists and cartoonists would train their guns on all kinds of power structures and conservatives and religion wasn't their only subject.

"The bloody attack on Charlie is an assault not just on the magazine or its journalists but on what they stood for: freedom of speech. It has struck at the very heart of the journalistic ideals, the French press stands for," she writes.

Nobel for nation

In some domestic news, papers are urging the Delhi police to solve the "mysterious" death of the wife of former minister Shashi Tharoor.

Nearly a year after Sunanda Pushkar's body was found in a hotel room in Delhi, the police on 6 January said they were treating the death as murder.

The police say the death was "not natural and was due to poisoning". It is, however, still not clear which poison was used or whether Ms Pushkar administered it herself.

"The Delhi police's decision to file murder charges in the Sunanda Pushkar death case raises more questions than answers," The Times of India says.

The Indian Express, similarly, feels that Delhi police have made "a spectacle of itself" and "failed to bring any modicum of clarity or closure to the high-profile case".

Ms Pushkar was found dead in a five-star hotel in Delhi on 17 January last year.

And finally, child rights activist Kailash Satyarthi has handed over his Nobel Prize medal to the president of India, saying it belongs to the nation, reports say.

The medal will now be on display at the Rashtrapati Bhavan (President's House) museum, The Times of India reports.

Mr Satyarthi and Pakistani education activist Malala Yousafzai were awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in December.

BBC Monitoring reports and analyses news from TV, radio, web and print media around the world. You can follow BBC Monitoring on Twitter and Facebook.

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