SriLankan mark Speed Boat found abandoned near SHAR

Infiltration is suspected since the boat was found 50 km from Satish Dhawan Space Centre, ahead of the crucial satellite launch in the backdrop of terrorist attacks in Sri Lanka.

Abandoned SriLankan Boat found drifting in the Bay of Bengal.

The sighting of an abandoned speed boat with SriLankan markings, on the coastline 50 km from Satish Dhawan Space Centre which was gearing up to launch RISAT-2B at 5.30 am on Wednesday, created a flutter among the security forces guarding the vital installation.

The boat was found days ahead of the crucial satellite launch in the backdrop of terrorist attacks in Sri Lanka. The fibre boat appears to be four months old and was fitted with a Yamaha Engine.

Local fishermen found the lightweight fibre speed boat, drifting in the Bay of Bengal, three days ago. It was close to the coast near Ponnapudipathuru village in Vidavalur Mandal of SPSR Nellore district, Andhra Pradesh. 

Reminiscent of the terrorist attack on 26/11, the security forces found smoked cigarettes, beedi butts, a bed sheet, and a can of water bearing a SriLankan sticker.

The security forces to rushed to the village where the boat was sighted as there were intel inputs that terrorists are trying to infiltrate into India. Immediately intelligence and other police wings, including the coastguard, rushed to the Pathuru village. 

The police also found an “India-Sri Lanka friendship” poster, pasted on the boat. "The poster has made us suspect that who so ever used the boat tried to pose that they are friendly with India," coastal police said.

Kovur Circle Inspector A.D. Siva Prasad said that local fishermen noticed the abandoned boat and brought it to the shore and tied it up. The fishermen first tried to start the engine on 18 May. They then removed the new Yamaha engine fitted to the boat so that they can sell it for a good price. They even celebrated the arrival of a new engine with a drinks party."

However, the information of a foreign boat reached Vidavalur Police who immediately rushed to the spot. A quick search in the local villages yielded no results. Vidavalur police booked a case under Criminal Procedure Code 120 and are investigating.

The police also suspect that few people who have travelled the distance might have taken shelter somewhere.

A search is being conducted along with the Marine police. The Marine police say that the condition of the boat was not good and there was no suspicious material in it. Marine Mallikarjuna Rao said that they were trying to decipher information about the make and ownership of the boat based on the registration numbers painted on its board.

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