NEW DELHI: Putting an end to the raging controversy over the issue of the Pakistani terror boat, the Union Ministry of Defence (MoD) on Friday released the video footage of the trawler, which was intercepted by the Indian Coast Guard (ICG) on New Year’s eve. Besides, it has constituted a Board of Inquiry (BoI), which will look into the incident.
Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar had ordered that the footage be released to substantiate the MoD stand in the wake of the unseemly row.
The four-minute-long footage was released after Coast Guard DIG B K Loshali, North West Region Chief of Staff, was caught boasting on camera that he had ordered the blowing up of the Pakistani boat as it approached the Indian waters. Even though, Loshani had on Thursday apologised for his comments in reply to the showcause notice, the MoD was not convinced and hence it has constituted a Board of Inquiry (BoI) into the episode.
“The reply to the notice has been received and is found to be unsatisfactory. Therefore, in accordance with the extant procedures, a Board of Inquiry has been ordered to investigate the details and establish the facts. Suitable action will be taken on the BoI submitting its findings,” a Coast Guard release said.
Officials claimed that after the controversy broke out on Wednesday, the Defence Minister had summoned all top officials of the Coast Guard to clear the air. On Thursday evening, Parrikar met the Commanding Officer of Coast Guard ship Rajratan, involved in the said operation and Commandant Chandra Shekhar Joshi at his office in the South Block. During the half-an-hour-long meeting, Joshi along with other top officials of the Coast Guard briefed the minister on the happenings on December 31.
Contradictory to Loshani’s claim that he had ordered the blowing up of the Pakistani fishing vessel, Joshi explained that he had not received any such order from the DIG. “Further, it has been established from the Commanding Officer of CGS Rajratan that he had received no communication from DIG B K Loshali,” the ICG statement further stated.