New Delhi: In its defence, the Coast Guard on Friday released a video to prove that the Pakistani boat with suspected terrorists on board, on the night of December 31, 2014, was not blown up by India, rather it was set afire by its occupants.
During a press meet, the Coast Guard today ordered a "board of inquiry" against its North West Region Chief of Staff DIG BK Loshali, now facing suspension, after finding his reply "unsatisfactory" to a show-cause notice on his remarks that he had ordered blowing up of a Pakistani boat. Shortly after the press meet, the Coast Guard officials distributed CDs of the said video to the journalists.
"DIG BK Loshali was served a show-cause notice on February 18. 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," the Coast Guard said in a release.
"Further it has also been established from the commanding officer of the coastguard ship Raj Ratan, involved in the operation on the night of December 31, 2014 that he had received no communication from DIG B K Loshali," the release said, adding that "suitable action will be taken on receipt of the proceedings of the Board of Inquiry".
The development comes a day after the Defence Ministry Manohar Parrikar had issued a show-cause notice to Deputy Inspector General of the Indian Coast Guard, BK Loshali, for taking the responsibility of sinking the Pakistani boat.
Parrikar had earlier said that his Ministry stands by the statement that an intruding Pakistani boat blew itself up off Porbandar coast on New Year eve.
The footage was released today days after Loshali was filmed declaring that he had ordered that the boat be attacked as it approached Indian waters. "I hope you remember 31st December night. We blew off the Pakistan... I told at night, blow the boat off. We don't want to serve them biryani," BK Loshali said in a video released by a leading English Daily.
However, Loshali, denied reports that he had admitted ordering to blow up the Pakistani boat in the Arabian Sea on New Year's Eve.
The claim was in sharp contrast to New Delhi's official position that the boat had "suspected terror links" and that the crew had committed suicide by setting the vessel on fire.
Loshali later issued a rejoinder which rejected the media report terming it as "not factual" and denied making any such claim.
Meanwhile, dismissing allegations of any Pakistani 'terror boat' being involved in an incident with Indian authorities as a "drama", Pakistan today said the episode was "shrouded in mystery" from the beginning.
"Yes we have seen the media reports. Having remained shrouded in mystery since day one, the drama of the so-called 'terror boat' is now unfolding," said Pakistan Foreign Office spokesperson Tasnim Aslam, as per PTI.
"As we had mentioned earlier, our authorities conducted their own investigations in the wake of Indian media reports. These investigations concluded that neither any Pakistani boat was missing nor is there any evidence so far to suggest that it was a Pakistani boat. The latest Indian media reports actually confirmed our findings. We have noted the statements, their retractions, confusion and controversies that this trigger happy episode has created in India," she added.
Here is the video:
— ANI (@ANI_news) February 20, 2015
(With Agency inputs)