New Delhi: Hitting out at the Congress over its allegations on Narendra Modi-led NDA government on the suspected Pakistani 'bomb' boat probe issue, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) spokesperson Sambit Patra on Sunday said such action of the principal opposition party is 'supplying oxygen to Pakistan' adding that 'Congress has hit a new low' by giving such comments.
“Congress is speaking the language of Pakistan. Why does it do so? Should they raise doubt on a major terror incursion?,” Patra told reporters here.
Further hitting out at Congress over its allegations that Government should come clean and explain "which terrorist organisation" was behind the episode that unfolded on the high seas recently, Patra said, “Congress is supplying oxygen to Pakistan, do they not have faith in Indian Coast Guard?”
“If Congress wanted to know what was happening they should have asked, rather than raising the issue in such an immature way,” the BJP leader added.
Questioning the intention of Congress behind their act of doubting the identity of the 'bomb' boat and whether it was a terrorist boat or not, Patra said, “We want to ask Congress if this was a publicity stunt.”
“Congress should stand united with the government against terrorism,” he added.
Patra further said, "A new low in Indian politics has been touched and none other than Congress is responsible for this new low. Congress has touched an abysmal low as far as politics is concerned.”
He added India celebrated a "happy" new year because the Coast Guard and the intelligence agencies of India could successfully abort a "probable" terrorist attack.
Meanwhile, the Cost Guard authorities also today rejected Congress' allegations over the 'bomb' boat saying that the boat which was destroyed after being intercepted was a 'terrorist boat'.
Inspector General Kuldip Singh Sheoran, Commander, Coast Guard Region (North-West) said the Indian Coast Guard (ICG) has been monitoring the coastal area closely and has pressed six aircrafts into service.
Confirming that the people present inside the 'bomb' boat were not smugglers, the IG said, "Smugglers never run away like they did in the intercepted boat case nor do they set the boat on fire," he added.
Regarding reports that there were two suspicious boats in the high seas, Sheoran had said yesterday that they had no such information.
Giving details of the operation carried out in the intervening night of December 31 and January one, he added that the Coast Guard intercepted the boat as it got suspicious about the identity of crew who did not resemble fishermen from their dressing style and carried no nets.
"We saw four men on the boat. They were not looking like fishermen, they wore T-shirts and half pants, and this raised suspicion," he had said.
However, a search is underway for the wreckage of the mysterious boat, which exploded after being hunted down by the Indian Coast Guard in the Arabian Sea, as also the bodies of its four occupants, which will be crucial for investigators to reach a conclusion about their intent.
Earlier in the day, Congress spokesperson Ajoy Kumar had said, “All reports that have come up about the Porbandar incident are contradictory.”
“National security isn't a light issue, we are worried about nation's security that's why we are raising questions,” he added.
"Government should come clean on it. There is no evidence. How can you say that a terrorist attack was prevented? How did they (government) come to the conclusion that it was a terrorist boat? It is very strange. Nothing has been explained. Which terrorist organisation was behind it?" Kumar had said, citing media reports which have questioned the government version about the interception and the subsequent blast on board and sinking of the fishing boat.
The Congress today also suggested the Modi government to go deeper into the possible terror attack case.
"I think the government should go deeply into this in particular; it must literally get into the bottom of this by going down to the sea level and tracing the remnants of this boat to find out what was the origin, who sent it, why it was sent, what was the purpose," Congress leader Abhishek Manu Singhvi said, ANI reported.
Another top Gujarat Congress leader had yesterday said it would have been better if at least one of the occupants of the "terror" boat had been captured alive even as he alleged loopholes in the State's coastal security.
"We had caught a 26/11 terrorist (Ajmal Kasab) alive during the operation. It would have been better if at least one of the boat occupants had been caught alive. India then could have told the world their handlers belonged to Pakistan," said Shaktisinh Gohil, Congress MLA and former Leader of Opposition in Gujarat Assembly
Earlier on Friday, a possible terror attack was averted when a suspicious fishing boat carrying explosives in the Arabian Sea was intercepted near the India- Pakistan maritime boundary, approximately 365 kilometres away from Porbander.
A statement from the Ministry of Defence said that as per intelligence inputs received on December 31, a fishing boat from Keti Bunder near Karachi was planning some illicit transaction in the Arabian Sea.
A coast guard ship warned the suspicious vessel to stop for further investigation of the crew and cargo; however, the boat increased its speed and attempted to flee the maritime boundary.
The coast guards operation continued for nearly one hour and the Coast Guard ship managed to stop the fishing boat after firing warning shots.
The four persons on board disregarded warning shots from the Coast Guard and tried to hide themselves in the lower deck of the vessel; thereafter they set the boat on fire, which resulted in an explosion.
Ultimately, the boat burnt and sank in the early hours of January 1, including all the people on board who could not be saved or recovered.
(With Agency inputs)