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Homechevron_rightIndiachevron_rightCoast Guard releases...

Coast Guard releases video of Pakistani boat

Coast Guard releases video of Pakistani boat

New Delhi: The Coast Guard Friday released a video of the intruding Pakistani boat that was intercepted off the Gujarat coast Dec 31 last year to reaffirm its assertion that the vessel was set on fire by its occupants.

The video was released on the day the Coast Guard ordered a board of inquiry (BoI) into DIG B.K. Loshali's purported remarks, which he denied later, that he ordered the Pakistani boat that was allegedly trying to sneak into Indian waters be blown up.

The new video shows the boat in flames without any apparent damage to its structure that could have been caused by any shelling.

A Coast Guard press release said Loshali was served a show cause notice Feb 18 and his reply has been found to be unsatisfactory.

"Therefore, in accordance with the extant procedures, a board of inquiry (BOI) has been ordered to investigate the details and establish the facts. Suitable action will be taken on receipt of the proceedings of the BOI," the release said.

It said it has also been established from the Commanding Officer of the Coast Guard Ship Rajratan, involved in the operation Dec 31 that he had received no communication from Loshali.

The government had earlier this week found itself in a spot over Loshali's remarks.

Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar had said he would inquire into the matter while indicating possible disciplinary action against the officer.

He also said the government "stands by its statement" that the boat was blown up by the "suspected terrorists" themselves and was prepared to release evidence to this effect.

Loshali had sparked off controversy with his remarks - captured on video - that he ordered a Pakistani boat allegedly trying to sneak into Indian waters be blown up.

Congress leaders Friday continued to pose questions to the government after the release of the video.

Party leader Manish Tewari said the explanation by the government in its entirety still leaves a large number of questions unanswered.

"What is the actionable intelligence which was there with the government? Who were these terrorists? Which organisation did they belong to? What operations were they planning to carry out in India?" Tewari asked.

"There is absolutely nothing from the government which tells the whole story with regard to the terrorist intent of those people allegedly on that boat," he added.

"All that the government has put out is a video of a burning boat and the question still hangs in the air - did the boat implode or did the boat catch fire because it was shot at?" he asked.

Congress spokesperson Randeep Surjewala said the party had congratulated the Coast Guard for its heroic act in preventing a possible terror or a smuggling act that could be a possible threat to the Indian coast.

"We said the defence minister must come out clearly and say whether they were terrorists. What connection did they have to their bosses in Pakistan? Whether ISI or the defence ministry of Pakistan were involved?" he asked.

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