New Delhi: The suspicious boat, which had reportedly originated from Pakistan, was intercepted by Indian security forces "pro-actively" in January last year before the occupants blew it up, Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar told Lok Sabha on Wednesday, adding it was "not shot".
"I would like to inform the House that when we acted pro-actively against the boat one year prior to this incident (in Pathankot) on a New Year Day, there was a lot of criticism, though we had not shot at the boat.”
"Why should the Coast Guard people go 200 kms from the border and act pro-actively? I would not go into the details of who did it. But these are the backgrounds under which Pathankot happened," Parrikar said while responding to a debate on Pathankot.
He said there was criticism for going deep inside the sea and intercepting the boat.
"I would like to indicate that some information which is wrongly... I referred to a boat in Gujarat Coast on 1st January. I just brought out an incident. At that time, there were lot of criticisms saying as to why did you go 200 kms. away and intercepted it.”
"You have to intercept your enemies away from the coast. Some people said that. I have not said that you said it," Parrikar added.
Coast Guard officially claimed to have intercepted an explosive-laden boat off Gujarat coast, which originated from Pakistan on New Year's Eve of this year after thorough surveillance. The Defence Ministry has consistently maintained that the occupants on board refused to cooperate after being intercepted and blew up the boat.
Interestingly, Coast Guard DIG BK Loshali, who was facing an inquiry for publicly contradicting the government over the sinking of a Pakistani ship, was dismissed from service in December last year.