Two articles on Ajmal Amir Kasab, the Mumbai terrorist

The first is from The Observer (the Sunday edition of The Guardian, UK), which confirms that he is indeed from a village called Faridkot, in Pakistan, and even supplies the national identity card numbers of his parents. It’s a remarkable piece of investigative journalism in the face of local denial and official hostility.

The second is from the Times of India, on Kasab’s present lifestyle. As a content-free fluff piece it surpasses any I’ve seen recently. And I sincerely hope the TOI reporter got something garbled in writing: “A Special Branch officer gets to taste Kasav’s fare — because it’s feared he might be poisoned.” The implications if this is true — that the Indian side can’t find a trustworthy cook, or that they would rather see a Special Branch officer die than a terrorist — are staggering.

Why is it that even on stories of national importance, like this one, we need to depend on the international press for our journalism?

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10 Comments

  1. this whole thing is getting more and more surreal …

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  2. Surreal, chilling and terrifying.I shudder to read stories about how these men have meticulously enudred training to withstand days of interrogation, hardship..Its like they were ‘bred to terrorize’

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  3. >A Special Branch officer gets to >taste Kasav's fare — because it's >feared he might be poisonedPrecautionary measures at that level have to be taken, cause even if we do have a trustworthy cook, it is nowadays possible to infiltrate into any department/ organization.This link here

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  4. Sorry for the incompleteness in the previous comment !!>A Special Branch officer gets to taste >Kasav's fare — because it's >feared he might be poisonedPrecautionary measures at that leve l have to be taken, cause even if we do have a trustworthy cook, it is nowadays possible to infiltrate into any department/organization as this corroborates the fact

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  5. The owners of ToI need to grow a new pair.

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  6. anonymous – I think there is a difference between an intern cook at a hotel being an infiltrator and a trusted long-term employee of the police being an infiltrator. I still think that if the police think it easier to risk an officer’s life than to find a trustworthy cook, there is something wrong…

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  7. And if someone must taste the food because it may be poisoned, presumably by the cook, then shouldn’t the cook be tasting it? Perhaps the cook IS the “Special Branch officer” mentioned. Or the poisoning happens between the kitchen and the cell; then shouldn’t the person carrying the food taste it? The article was indeed weird – why do we need to know how many chapatis he eats, with what, and whether or not he pines for non-veg food? Meena

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  8. Rahul:I did not say that the trusted long-term employee of the police could be an infiltrator.The trusted employee may be a true son of the soil What I had mean't was –> It is very much possible that Kasav's fare prepared by the "trusted long term employee of the police" could be poisoned by any infiltrator by the time it reaches him. No matter how much security you have, it's better to be safe than be sorry. Meena: Today terrorists can go to any length to liquidate / erase any kind of Evidence. It does not matter when the food presumably get poisoned (while preparing it or between the kitchen and the cell). The point is that it being tasted before Kasav does as a final precautionary measure.Rahul: As for risking the life of a Special Branch officer, I agree..

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  9. Rahul,Indira Gandhi payed the price for believing in her long term body guards. We have to be ruthlessly meticulous and not lose him to corruption and infiltration. Trust no one.Emotions don’t play a part here. It will be a huge security lapse if he is poisoned.

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  10. Here is Steve Coll on LeT in New Yorker

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