New Delhi: Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar on Monday ruled out that a shot from the Indian Coast Guard could have hit the suspected terror boat, resulting in the fire that led to an explosion and subsequent sinking of the vessel.
"We are absolutely sure we did not hit it," Parrikar said when asked if the fire in the boat could have resulted due to one of the warning shots from the Coast Guard hitting the vessel which was tracked in Indian waters in the Arabian Sea.
The incident was recorded on camera and a part of it will be released soon, he told a TV news channel.
"We may release a part of the video possibly in a couple of days," he said.
The minister backed the action taken by the Coast Guard.
"I don't need conclusive proof to avert something I call danger to my country... If I stop for thinking, I may have a 26/11-like situation again," he said.
"... When I tried to find out, I found out these people are motivated enough to commit suicide... With a 26/11 scenario looming large, you cannot expect the Coast Guard to make sure of everything before taking action."
On reports that the fumes from the boat on fire, as it appeared in the photographs released by the defence ministry, did not look like explosive fire, he said spectrography works on the original colour, and the true colours of the fumes may not reflect in the images.
The suspected terror boat was intercepted by the Coast Guard off the Gujarat coast Dec 31 after the National Technical Research Organisation (NTRO) intercepted a conversation between the Pakistan maritime authority and the occupants of the boat.
The boat was monitored, and it was found to be stationary for a long while. However, when a Coast Guard vessel approached it, the boat tried to escape.
Following a chase, according to the defence ministry, four occupants seen on the boat went to a compartment under the deck and set the boat on fire, resulting in an explosion.