India sacks officer who contradicted govt on alleged Pakistani boat

NEW DELHI: Deputy Inspector General (DIG) of the Indian Coast Guards BK Loshali, who had admitted that he had ordered to blow up an alleged Pakistani boat in the Arabian Sea last December, has been sacked by the Indian authorities.

India media reported that BK Loshali, who had contradicted the government’s version on the explosion on board the vessel, has been removed as the Chief of Staff at Northwest region and attached to their zonal headquarters.

Indian media had quoted Loshali as saying that he gave the order to blow up the vessel because it had entered Indian waters. The statement of the DIG had negated the Indian Defence Ministry statement which had claimed that the boat had suspected terror links and people in the boat blew up the vessel on interception.

The Pakistani foreign office rejected the Indian allegations, saying no boat had left the Keti Bunder as claimed by India.
Meanwhile, India was forced to deny it deliberately blew up the fishing boat after a video was released showing a coast guard official apparently boasting about ordering the vessel’s destruction.
The official’s apparent claim has reignited controversy about the December 31 incident, which killed four men on board and led to a flare-up in tensions between the two neighbours.

At the time of the incident, India said that its Coast Guard ships and aircraft had tried to intercept the boat near the maritime border with Pakistan, around 365 kilometres (225 miles) from the coastal state of Gujarat, following an intelligence tip-off.

It said the crew had tried to escape, leading to a high-speed chase that lasted almost an hour before the boat eventually stopped after warning shots were fired. The boat then exploded and sank with the apparent loss of all four lives, the defence ministry said at the time, calling the crew “suspected or possible terrorists”.