Surat: The government may have claimed that the occupants of the ‘terror boat’ intercepted by the Coast Guard on 31 December, 2014 set themselves on fire but a statement by a senior Coast Guard official saying that he had ordered the boat to be ‘blown off’ may just open a can of worms on the incident again.
In an exclusive report, the Indian Express today quoted a Deputy Inspector General of the Coast Guard, B K Loshali, saying that he was there at Gandhinagar and he had ordered officials to ‘blow the boat off’ as opposed to government’s he claim that the boat had blown itself up under suspicious circumstances.
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The DIG’s statements came while he was launching the boat and the report quotes him as saying that while he had prepared a written speech, he would deviate from it to express what was in his heart.
The report has sparked controversy given that the defence establishment and Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar have consistently maintained that the occupants of the boat had blown themselves up after leading the Coast Guard on a chase.
The official stand of the coast guard, was that after receiving an intelligence input they had pursued the ship with an aircraft and a vessel. They said that instead of surrendering, “the boat started moving in a zig-zag way and switched off lights.”
The occupants of the boat allegedly ignored warning shots that were fired at it and after some time its occupants were accused of setting the vessel on fire, resulting in it sinking. No evidence had emerged of the occupants carrying explosives.
The government had also claimed that they had evidence of call intercepts that were made from the boat to Pakistan, which proved that the occupants were suspected terrorists.
Pakistan had said it expected India to conduct a “transparent” probe and had said that its own investigation has shown that there was “no sound evidence” to substantiate India’s assertions.