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Parrikar defends his Pak boat version

Parrikar defends his Pak boat version
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The boat that Indian Coast Guard (ICG) had trailed off the coast of Porbandar in Gujarat on 31st December, and had eventually sought to board, for investigating its reasons being in Indian waters, and had instead witnessed being blown up, was allegedly carrying illicit cargo. Defence minister, Manohar Parrikar, said this in Parliament Tuesday.

The ICG had stated immediately after the incident that this was possibly a boat belonging to terrorists, who were seeking to attack Gujarat. The state was then about to host Vibrant Gujarat summit that was about to be attended by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the US Secretary of State John Kerry. So the ICG had suspected that they could be the targets.

Significantly, this ICG account was adopted by the minister, Parrikar, immediately after the incident was reported. And, that was challenged by contrary reports, which stated that the occupants could have been smugglers, and not terrorists from Pakistan.

But now that the minister has reiterated that statement in Parliament, clearly it has gained weight and more legitimacy. The minister has stated then that there were intelligence reports the boat had begun sailing from Keti Bunder in Karachi on 31st December. And on 1st January, the boat was finally intercepted by the ICG.

They first hailed the boat and asked it to stop, and then fired warning shots. At this point the occupants of the boat went under the deck area and started a fire that eventually led to an explosion. The occupants died and the boat sank. “Due to darkness, bad weather and strong winds, the boat and persons on board could not be saved or recovered,” the minister stated in reply to a question in Rajya Sabha.
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