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
    Jayaram
    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.......
    Reply
    1. N
      Neil
      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!
      Reply
      1. C
        Chandler
        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?
        Reply
        1. K
          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?
          Reply
          1. K
            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.
            Reply
            1. A
              anonymouskar
              Jan 5, 2015 at 10:32 am
              Except for the usual suspects in the Media, AAP and Congress, nobody believes the smugglers angle. Not after 26/11 where the perpetrators came through the sea route and the government was fell asleep at the switch.
              Reply
              1. S
                shivaram mp
                Jan 5, 2015 at 12:09 pm
                KUSHMINDER DONT BECOME CHEAP
                Reply
                1. G
                  G G
                  Jan 6, 2015 at 8:17 am
                  The comments convey that the congress is on a self-destructive mode. Not even God can save the party from extinction!
                  Reply
                  1. M
                    M Vyas
                    Jan 5, 2015 at 10:37 am
                    First time in many years I saw right man at a right place. Mr. Prabhu will prove beyond expectations. Look at the choice of congress in earlier period, Jaffer Shariff, Lallu Yadav, Kharge, Mamta Benerjee twice, , Janeshwar Prasad Mishraof BJP Ram Naik, Nitishkumar- twice, all were looking lifeless.with no vision. Good luck to Prabhu and a excellent choice of Modiji.
                    Reply
                    1. S
                      S Subramaniam
                      Jan 6, 2015 at 7:04 am
                      All those who are quesriing the veracity of the media report of the terror boat and eliciting information is nothing but shocking.It was brought out by one of the panelists that no information was made public of the 26/11 Mumbai terror attack but a group of political parties and media are now questing the credibility of the incident. If these political parties and the media are aware of the incident before hand in all fairness they should bring out the facts rather than questining the varacity of the present terror boat incident. I am of the strong conviction that no sensible Government and its intelligent agencies should make public from the security angle. When we have encountered innumerable terrorist attack and infiltration from across the border does the media expect all the defence planning should be public? I hang my head in shame after watching the unnecessary controversy on National security. We all should be proud of the of our intelligent apparatus and security forces. I feel that only those whose kin and kith are not in the Defence services will indulge in such unavoidable controversies.
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                      1. M
                        mohan
                        Feb 19, 2015 at 10:16 am
                        The DIG's statement that "I was there at hinagar and I told at night, blow the boat off. We don’t want to serve them biryani" is correct. He may have ordered the boat to be blown off. But before the coast guard could do that, the smugglers or the terrorists destro it. If the boat was not self-exploded, then the coast guard would have destro it. That is the way in which war is fought at sea. What the coast guard should have done is to track the boat using satellite and other modern communication devices. Then only we can know more details like what are the smuggling items and who are the beneficiaries?
                        Reply
                        1. M
                          mohan
                          Feb 19, 2015 at 10:14 am
                          The statement of DIG that "I was there at hinagar and I told at night, blow the boat off. We don’t want to serve them biryani" is correct. He may have ordered the boat to be blown off. But before the coast guard could do that, the smugglers or the terrorists destro it. If the boat was not self-exploded, then the coast guard would have destro it. That is the way in which war is fought at sea. What the coast guard should have done is to track the boat using satellite and other modern communication devices. Then only we can know more details like who is supporting the smugglers in India and what are the smuggling items?
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                            Aneesh Vp
                            Feb 18, 2015 at 4:10 pm
                            Feku's (in)famous fake encounter attempt ??
                            Reply
                            1. P
                              Ponnaluri Ramachandra Rao
                              Jan 5, 2015 at 7:17 am
                              we believe u Mr. Defence Minister
                              Reply
                              1. R
                                Rajiv Pande
                                Jan 6, 2015 at 12:18 am
                                The only definite way to find out if these people were terrorists was to allow them to do what they intended to. This is what Congress seems to be implying. We are much safer in the hands of the BJP govt.
                                Reply
                                1. I
                                  IM_Sickular
                                  Jan 5, 2015 at 3:21 pm
                                  Have you gone insane? Before lecturing did you not see Congress spokesperson and handful of journalists questioning the authenticity of the operation carried out by the coast guards? What sort of government would it be, if it doesn't come in support for its security forces and stand by them. The Congress person don't even want to wait for the investigation to complete. Even if they were drug mafia, were they any less culprit by ignoring the warning by naval fleet and then by burning their own boat. Its the duty of the government to stand by the words of the security personals unless proven otherwise. Else it would just be a weak govt. and the w world would think that it was our mistake.
                                  Reply
                                  1. S
                                    Sadanand Bhat
                                    Jan 5, 2015 at 6:25 am
                                    What a breath of fresh air Manohar Parrikar has brought to the defense minister post compared to the ineffectual and ed style of AK Antony who put the country backward by 20 years in his time. Feel very confident that Manohar is going to take our defense capabilities way ahead and take India to the deserved place at the top in the world,judging from the no nonsense atude he has brought to the job.
                                    Reply
                                    1. S
                                      Sohail
                                      Jan 5, 2015 at 10:21 am
                                      Congress knows it very well because they also staged many dramas like this to frame stan but this one was staged with bad actors,week script and in a hurry so there were too many loose ends.But there are too many Bollywood loving fools around to believe this flop drama.
                                      Reply
                                      1. S
                                        soham yadav
                                        Jan 5, 2015 at 6:35 am
                                        Is this PRESS FREEDOM in India?REFUTINGLY DENY and OBFUSCATE whatever facts that Indian intelligence, Indian security, Indian Navy, INDIAN govt unearths.BLINDLY PUBLISH and PROPAGATE whatever propaa that Porki ISI, Porki jehadeen, Porki agencies, PORKI govt says.Or is this PRESS TREASON in India?
                                        Reply
                                        1. S
                                          Suman
                                          Jan 6, 2015 at 5:07 am
                                          No evidence of what was in that boat. Indian Navy has destro the boat and due to lack of evidence they say the boat blown itself. Why did the navy did not bring any wreckage or bodies? In todays technology the mobile phone camera takes better videos at night, can we believe that Indian Navy had no camera on their vessel. By the way how did Navy count how many people are there on that boat?
                                          Reply
                                          1. S
                                            Sunil Kokrady
                                            Jan 5, 2015 at 3:32 pm
                                            Is Congress party is throwing lifeline to stan by calling the rouge boat as smuggler's then it will have to come clear with how they can say it confidence? Are they touch with Dawood Ibrahim to say it impunity?
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