الأربعاء , يونيو 10 2020

Indian media praise capture of 'Qasab 2'

Police officials say that the arrested gunman confessed that he was a Pakistani national

Indian police officials say that the arrested gunman “confessed” that he was a Pakistani national

Media in India are drawing parallels between the arrest of a gunman in Indian-administered Kashmir and the capture of Mumbai attacks convict Ajmal Qasab in 2008.

Senior police officers in the state announced on Wednesday that they had arrested a militant after a gun battle.

Local media reports said the militant had been overpowered by two civilians he had taken hostage, and then handed over to police.

A senior police official said the man “confessed” that he was a Pakistani national and had crossed into India through the Line of Control, the de facto border between the two countries.

India’s media outlets were quick to compare Wednesday’s incident with the capture of Qasab in 2008. He was part of a heavily armed and well-drilled 10-member militant unit which arrived in Mumbai by sea on 26 November and attacked several places, including the iconic Taj Mahal hotel.

Attacks on the railway station, luxury hotels and a Jewish cultural centre claimed 166 lives. Nine gunmen were also killed.

But Qasab was captured by a Mumbai policeman. He was executed in November 2012.

Thursday’s headlines in Indian newspapers have focused on the comparison, with some calling the arrested gunman “Kasab II”.

‘Big catch’

Indian media outlets have also highlighted official statements that the arrest of the gunman shows Pakistan’s backing for “anti-India” terrorist groups.

“Intelligence officials say the capture of a Pakistani terrorist after an attack on a security convoy in Jammu and Kashmir’s Udhampur today could lead to new evidence of repeated terror attacks against India organised across the border,” says a news report in the NDTV website.

The Times of India sees the arrest as a “big catch” for India.

“The captured terrorist is the first big catch after the 26/11 Mumbai attacker Ajmal Kasab was taken alive,” it says.

But an article in the Firstpost website argues that the “second Kasab’s” arrest is not going to help India’s efforts in proving Pakistan-based groups’ involvement in terror attacks.

“India will find it hard to prove before the international community that the ‘second Kasab’ was actually sent by the Pakistani establishment, just as it hasn’t been able to prove before the world that the state was involved in sending Kasab across the border,” it says.

In Pakistan, the coverage of the arrest has largely been low key with very few media outlets mentioning the story.

Geo News which did cover the story, criticised the Indian media for calling the arrested man a Pakistani national “without any concrete proof”.

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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