Kerala govt seeks NIA probe after Coast Guard seize ‘suspicious’ trawler

The vessel had 12 occupants, ten of them claiming to be from Iran, and two others from Baluchistan province of Pakistan.

Thiruvananthapuram | Updated: July 7, 2015 1:57 pm
Vizhinjam police said interrogation of the crew was going on and the examination of the dhow was in progress. (Source: Google maps) Vizhinjam police said interrogation of the crew was going on and the examination of the dhow was in progress. (Source: Google maps)

The Kerala government has sought NIA probe pertaining to the ‘suspicious’ fishing trawler with 12 occupants that was seized by the Indian Coast Guard, 100 km west of Alappuzha coast in Kerala on Sunday.

Home Minister Ramesh Chennithala said the government has written to the Union Home Secretary suggesting that NIA should look into the case.

The vessel had 12 occupants, ten of them claiming to be from Iran, and two others from Baluchistan province of Pakistan. They had claimed that they were fishermen and their vessel drifted to Indian coast after it developed a technical snag.

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The Coast Guard handed over the vessel and its occupants to Kerala police, which registered a case under Suppression of Unlawful Acts against Safety of Maritime Navigation Act 2002. They were remanded in judicial custody.

Neither Coast Guard nor Kerala police could find weapons, explosives or drugs on board the vessel. However, the occupants could not give convincing answers during the questioning of intelligence agencies and local police.

Besides, when the coast guard seized the vessel, it was moving 52 nautical miles away from Kerala coast. The state police would not have any jurisdiction beyond 12 nautical miles.

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