New Video, Controversial Remarks About Pakistani Boat’s Explosion
AHMEDABAD: A senior officer with the Coast Guard who bragged that he had ordered a Pakistani fishing boat to be blown up on New Year’s Eve will be investigated, said Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar today, after a video of the controversial statements was released by The Indian Express.
On camera, the officer says, “I hope you remember the 31st December night. We blew off the Pakistan…we blew them off.” Deputy Inspector General BK Loshali, who is in uniform, goes on to say, “I was there at Gandhinagar and I told at night ‘blow the boat off…we don’t want to serve them biryani’.”
The claim, delivered with a substantial amount of swagger, contradicts the government which had said in January that the Pakistani boat, which was loaded with explosives, blew itself up off the Gujarat coast after ignoring warnings to stop and allow a search of its cargo and four-member crew. The ship then sank; there were no survivors.
“The Defence Ministry had given a very clear statement. We stand by it,” Mr Parrikar said today, adding that he will examine the video featuring the Coast Guard officer and “take action if required”.
Mr Loshali said at press conference that his remarks, made at an event in Gujarat on Monday, have been misconstrued to suggest that he ordered the blowing up of the Pakistani boat. He said he had merely warned that “We will not allow any foreign elements to breach our borders.”
On January 1, the government said that a fishing boat with explosives had set sail from near Karachi and had been flagged as suspicious by intelligence agencies. The government said the crew was planning an illicit transaction” in the Arabian Sea when it was intercepted. The government statement did not elaborate on the type of explosives or who they were intended for. The Indian Coast Guard chased the Pakistani boat for almost an hour and fired warning shots before it stopped, and the crew then hid below deck and then set the boat on fire, the government had claimed.