Ahmedabad: Nine Pakistani nationals have been booked after they were apprehended by Indian Coast Guard on Sunday for allegedly entering the Indian waters off Gujarat coast, an official said today. Coast Guard Ship 'Samudra Pavak' had apprehended the Pakistani boat with nine crew members on board at around 10.15 am on Sunday during patrolling.
District Superintendent of Police (SP) Tarun Duggal said the case was lodged against them yesterday at Navi Bandar coastal police station in Porbandar district of Gujarat under various sections of the Maritime Zones Act.
"An FIR was registered yesterday against the nine Pak crew members for violating the Maritime Zones Act. We will produce them in court in due course to seek their remand for joint interrogation. All of them and their boat are now in the custody of Porbandar police," Duggal said.
The authorities found fishing equipment in the boat, he said adding, "however, nothing suspicious was found during the preliminary investigation". Navi Bandar police station is one of the ten police stations located along India's coastline, which has been recently empowered by the Centre to register and investigate crimes committed within the country's Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ), which lies between 12 and 200 nautical miles from the Indian coast.
This is the first ever FIR related to offshore offence registered at the station after it became operational.
Earlier, Yellow Gate police station in Mumbai was the only police station empowered to handle offences committed in the entire western coast.
"In June this year, the Centre issued a notification for setting up several other coastal police stations, including Navi Bandar for Gujarat, to handle cases of offshore offences in the EEZ. Now there is no need to approach Yellow Gate police station in Mumbai, as we have our own police station for EEZ," he said.
"This FIR against Pak crew members is the first one after the police station came into existence following the notification by the Centre," he added.
In June, Union Home Ministry had issued a gazette notification, invoking the Territorial Waters, Continental Shelf, Exclusive Economic Zone and Other Maritime Zones Act, 1976, and said the 10 police stations, located on both east and west coasts, can investigate any offence committed by any person within the EEZ.