At least five years after the illegal intrusions stopped from Pakistan in Harami Nala and Sir Creek at Gujarat-Pakistan border, the BSF (Border Security Force) intercepted a Pakistani boat at Sir Creek on Wednesday.
The boat was found coming close to the Indian waters at the Sir Creek that alerted the Creek Commandos of the force who are right now engaged in the search operations at the spot.
A senior officer from the BSF Operations said, “The boat was intercepted at Sir Creek however a few metres away before it could fully enter into the creek that is supervised by the Gujarat Frontier. When the boat was intercepted, it was found empty. It was checked thoroughly and nothing was found inside it. We suspect that the fishermen or those who were on board fled but we cannot say that they were indeed fishermen since no fish stock was found inside the boat”.
The BSF officials said the boat is 30 to 40 feet long and comparatively smaller to the fishing boats that come from the Pakistani waters. The BSF commandos have however undertaken a search operation from at the Sir Creek and nearby creek areas after this incident.
However since the crew members are missing, the BSF has alerted the State Police, Indian Navy and Indian Coast Guard to increase their vigilance. It is also suspected that the crew members might have entered from the Creek and left the boat to mislead the BSF.
The sources in BSF added that the boat was seen coming at around 12:30am by the BSF commandos who boarded their boat to apprehend the Pakistani boat. After keeping a close watch for about an hour, the empty boat was found floating in water at Sir Creek. This act raised the suspicion of the BSF that the crew members were unlike the fishermen who go astray in Indian waters and are caught within minutes of their touching the Indian maritime zone.
The Creek Crocodiles, a commando force of the BSF was raised in 2009 to patrol Harami Nala and Sir Creek as a part of their water wing operations. The intrusions from Pakistan that were observed in high numbers had dropped to the nil, as per the records of the BSF accessed last.
The BSF suspects that the crew members of the boat fled sensing the movement of the BSF or they left the boat near the Indian waters giving a signal of possible intrusion in coming days. The intelligence wing of the BSF was however alerted from last one month about Pakistani intrusion from the border areas in Kutch through land or marshy water areas of the creeks between Kutch and Pakistan.
Similarly, the Indian Coast Guard had apprehended a Pakistani boat off Jamnagar coast and arrested six fishermen in October. The Pakistani boat ‘Al-Rahimo’ had left from Karachi on October 1 and was found near the Indian maritime border. The boat was carrying 150 kilograms of fish. The ICG had observed that the fishermen had caught this huge quantity of fish within first three days of their fishing yet they hadn’t the water and were found near the Jamnagar coast.
In their interrogation, the fishermen had failed to explain why they came deeper into the Indian waters when they had already finished huge portion of their fishing. The fishermen were interrogated by several agencies where they claimed that they wanted to collect huge stock of fishing so that they had enough stock for two months. However the ICG suspect that the Pakistani crew members had used the stock of fish as a cover to enter the Indian waters to be able to enter inside.
The apprehension of the Pakistani boat at Sir Creek has sent a tizzy to the BSF and marine police of State Police who have intensified their patrolling and search.