North Gazette News/New Delhi
A Pak fishing boat suspecting to be carrying explosives was intercepted by Indian Coast Guards after which the crew members set it on fire on New Year’s eve.
Indian Defence Ministry spokesperson said that Indian Coast Guard ships and aircraft started an operation to intercept a suspect fishing boat in Arabian Sea near Indo-Pak maritime boundary on the basis of an intelligence input.
“There were intelligence inputs that a fishing boat from Keti Bunder near Karachi was planning to conduct terror activities was on its way to Gujarat coast. The Coast Guard Dornier aircraft undertook sea and air coordinated search and located the suspect fishing boat,”the spokesperson said.
He said that the Coast Guard ship on patrol in area was diverted and intercepted the unlit boat at about midnight of December 31 in position 365 km West-South West of Porbandar. The fishing boat crew was asked to stop for checking but the boat increased speed and tried to escape away from the Indian side of maritime boundary.
“The chase continued for nearly one hour and the Coast Guard ship managed to stop the fishing boat after firing warning shots. Four persons were seen on the boat who disregarded all warnings by the Coast Guard ship to stop and cooperate with investigation. Soon thereafter, the crew hid themselves in below deck compartment and set the boat on fire, which resulted in explosion and major fire on the boat,” he said.
The spokesperson added that due to darkness, bad weather and strong winds, the boat and persons on board could not be saved or recovered. The boat burnt and sank in the same position in wee hours of January 1, 2015.
Coast Guard ships and aircraft are continuing operations in area to search for any possible survivor. Coast Guard and other security agencies are maintaining high vigil in maritime and coastal areas since last couple of months due to several inputs on threat from the sea.