Coast Guard DIG fired over Pak boat sinking

Coast Guard DIG fired over Pak boat sinking

Controversial Coast Guard DIG B K Loshali was sacked through a court martial after a Board of Inquiry (BoI) found him guilty of contradicting the government's stand on the sinking of a Pakistan fishing boat last year off Gujarat coast.

“He was dismissed after the BoI found him guilty of all the charges on Saturday. The inquiry was conducted by a panel of senior DIG (Deputy Inspector General) rank officers for over three months,” said a senior Coast Guard official.

On 2015 New Year eve, a Pakistani fishing boat said to be carrying explosives was intercepted by the Coast Guard off the coast of Gujarat, but the vessel exploded and caught fire before sinking along with four occupants.

The officer took the credit for blowing the suspected Pakistani boat that was to undertake some “illicit transaction” in the Arabian Sea. In a video, he was seen boasting in front of an audience.

“We blew them off. We blew off Pakistan. I was there at Gandhinagar and I told at night blow the boat off. We don't want to serve them biriyani,” he is seen claiming in the video. Since the officer contradicts the government’s stand on the mysterious explosion, it triggered a controversy.

Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar stated that “circumstantial evidence” indicated that the Pakistani boat had terror links.

The official version was that after a hot pursuit, the four member crew hid themselves in the boat and set it on fire, leading to a huge explosion. The obvious inference was that the boat was carrying large amount of explosives.

“It has been established from the Commanding Officer of the Coast Guard Ship Rajratan, involved in the operation on the night of December 31, 2014, that he had received no communication from DIG B K Loshali,” the Coast Guard had stated.

While Loshali was served a show cause notice, a BoI was instituted in February in Mumbai after his reply was found “unsatisfactory”. The probe report was submitted to the Coast Guard headquarters in April after which it was studied at various levels before the court martial procedure was initiated.

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