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Pakistan boat explosion: Occupants not smugglers but possible terrorists, says Parrikar

He said he would classify them as "suspected or possible terrorists" since they had committed suicide.

By: Express News Service Written by Pranav Kulkarni | New Delhi | Updated: January 6, 2015 5:10 am
Manohar Parrikar, Pakistan boat, Karachi boat, Pakistan boat explosion Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar.

Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar said on Monday that while the government was “not sure” about the “kind of activity” that the occupants of the Pakistani fishing boat were involved in, “circumstantial evidence” indicated that they were “suspected or possible terrorists”.

The Indian Express reported on Monday that investigators in Karachi had identified the boat as a vessel allegedly linked to a drug mafia based in Pakistan. The boat was destroyed on New Year’s Eve about 365 km off Porbandar.

READ: Congress doing politics over terror: BJP on Pakistan boat incident

Speaking to the media today, Parrikar said the boat was neither in a fishing area nor on any busy route preferred by smugglers. “It does not indicate any type of smuggling activity but some other kind of activity. We are not sure what is that other kind,” he said.

He said he would classify the four occupants of the boat as “suspected or possible terrorists”, adding that “smugglers don’t keep in touch with Pakistani maritime agency or their army or international contacts.” Replying to questions about the veracity of this assessment, Parrikar said, “…circumstantial evidence indicates what I am saying.”

PTI quoted him as saying that all the details would be released soon. “They are doing analysis. We will release it once they complete the analysis in two-three days. Maybe it will take four days. Let them do the analysis and after that we will release it,” he said.

Parrikar said the suicidal act of setting the boat on fire showed that the men were “committed” and indicated a suspected terror link. “A normal boat, even carrying some drugs, can throw away their drugs and surrender. No one is going to be killing himself unless you are motivated enough to do that,” he said.

READ: Pak boat explosion: Only 1 suspect visible, cops too had intel

“As per our information, the boat was under our surveillance for over 12 hours — probably for more than a day — stationed there in one position… (I am) not speculating that it had explosives, but it had some activity in mind that does not fit the description of a smuggling boat. Which smuggler would commit suicide,” said Parrikar.

“There is speculation, but I don’t intend to be a part of the speculation, except to say that one very important aspect is that the location (where the boat was found) is not a normal route for a fishing boat,” he said.

In its statement last week, the Ministry of Defence said that “as per intelligence reports”, the boat was planning “some illicit transactions in the Arabian Sea”. It added that Parrikar had “complimented” the Coast Guard for averting a “possible danger”.

“The Coast Guard could not have done better. It was dark and the boat was laden with explosives, which appears to be at least partly correct,” said Parrikar today.

Meanwhile, the Coast Guard ship that has returned to Porbandar has not been able to bring back any wreckage of the boat or the bodies of the crew. This leaves only photographic evidence to support the claims that the boat was carrying explosives.

“Footage has already come out… Raat ka time tha, toh clarity itni nahi rahegi uski (it was at night, so it is not very clear),” said Parrikar, “As per my knowledge, there was very specific, clear intelligence. They were interacting about passing on cargo.”

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  1. J
    Jan 5, 2015 at 11:28 am
    I understand that the guys in the boat ventured into Indian water expecting getting caught and fed with nice food in Indian Jails. Their luck ran out when a remote from Karachiexploded their boat.......
    1. N
      Jan 5, 2015 at 9:20 am
      It is a matter of Desh Gaddari! So shameful! Congress will try to come topower again by hook and crook methods or by making fool of Hindus orappeasing minorities. They know that people memory or anger isvery short. As soon as BJP makessome errors, they will make huge outcry and many of us (here) may turn in favorof Congress. We have to be stern -that no fooling around brain washing by Congress!
      1. C
        Jan 5, 2015 at 11:21 am
        India can become a powerful as well as influential nation on the world stage on many issues if Indian nationals choose to walk tall, distance themselves from bribery and corruption and proudly pay state and federal taxes. A nation cannot build and do things on empty pockets or keep borrowing like Greece and many other developed and developing nations. Even powerful and productive nation like USA is feeling the pinch of budget deficits. As for Minister Parrikar and other leaders I wish they would not send mixed messages and talk like one Indian naval commander the day after the event on "I think so" basis. Either you know and can argue a case or say "I don't yet have full detail" and go and get some training on effective communication. Lastly why do these Ministers dress down? Do you see Western, anese, Singaporean or Chinese leaders dressing casually?
        1. Khushminder Sahasi
          Jan 5, 2015 at 4:57 pm
          Insanity is pervading in BJP. Why highlight this incident. When questioned by media analyst they now take cover of Suspected terrorist theory. You cannot bring w nation in a fearful mode. This kind of ruling model was used by WD Bush in his second term election days.NRIs are in Ahmedabad, they will call it a gimmickry similar to weapons of M destruction. Why Op Parakeam is not taken to Logical conclusion? Why shy away?
          1. Khushminder Sahasi
            Jan 5, 2015 at 9:31 am
            Why so much hoo haa by Govt. If suspected terrorists boat got blown up. Why Advertizement it as great event averted? BJP wants to sell no events as big achievement. Cheap. So pathetically cheap gimmickry.
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