February 2, 2009 1:52:40 am
Indian Coast Guard apprehends 26 crewmen off Jakhau
The Indian Coast Guard apprehended four more Pakistani fishing boats with 26 crew members on board,from Indian waters about 30 nautical miles west of Jakhau in Bhuj on Sunday. This is the third such incident after 26/11.
Ever since it was discovered that the perpetrators of 26/11 had hijacked Indian fishing trawler Kuber to reach Mumbai,the Coast Guard and other security agencies have stepped up security along the 1,600-km long Gujarat coastline. The Gujarat Zone Customs has also deployed the new vessels allotted to it by the Centre recently on strategic locations across the Gujarat coast. This,the experts say,has augmented the security network under the joint coastal policing scheme.
Special focus has been given to guard the coastal area between Jakhau and Medi,which was hitherto the most vulnerable area for trespassing, said an officer refusing to be named.
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On Sunday,Coast Guard vessel, Tarabai,apprehended Pakistani fishing boats,Al-Imran,Al-Basheer,Bismillah and Ab-dullah,about 12 nautical miles inside Indian waters around 3 pm. This followed a specific tip off about the boats being in Indian waters.
The boats along with their crewmen were shepherded to Jakhau by the Coast Guard in the evening. All the 26 Pakistani nationals aboard will be handed over to the Jakhau police late on Sunday, said defence spokesperson Wing Commander Satish Menon.
Earlier,on January 15,two Pakistani boats with 17 Pakistani nationals on board were caught from Indian waters off the Jakhau coast. A fast patrolling Coast Guard craft,ICGP-142,had apprehended these boats. Fish weighing 4 kg was also found on the two boats.
Before this,on December 22,the Coast Guard had apprehended one Pakistani fishing boat with its eight-member crew near Jakhau.
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