NEW DELHI:A showcause notice has been served on Coast Guard DIG B K Loshali, who was caught on video boasting that the Indian Coast Guard (ICG) had blown up a Pakistani terror boat on the intervening night of December 31 and January 1.
“The ICG ship, which intercepted the boat as per existing SOP issued warning to the boat on loud hailer and VHF and also fired warning shots across the bows (well ahead of the boat) compelling the boat to stop. Four persons were seen on the boat, who disregarded these repeated warnings to surrender for investigations.” “Later, the boat was found to be listed to port side and an explosion with fire was observed. These facts of the case have also been corroborated through intelligence reports and operational details obtained from the ICG units involved in this operation,” the Coast Guard said in a statement on Wednesday.
The boat later sank with all four suspected terrorists on board. The government had earlier said the terrorists committed suicide after the Coast Guard intercepted the boat.
However, Loshali’s claim has deepened the mystery surrounding the incident, which had attracted international attention after New Delhi and Islamabad came out with different versions of the event.
The purported video recorded on February 16 at an official function shows Loshali boasting about the incident claiming that the ICG had blasted the intruding boat. The Coast Guard said it was looking into the video and the clarifications issued by Loshali, who is also the ICG Chief of Staff (NorthWest Region).
“I hope you remember 31st December night. We blew up that Pakistan boat. We have blown them up. I was there at Gandhinagar and I told at night, ‘Blow up the boat. We don’t want to serve them biryani’.”
Loshali’s bragging caught the government on the wrong-foot, which had all along maintained that it was an operation based on intelligence inputs and that a terror strike had been foiled.