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‘Suspicious’ fishing boats continue to surprise maritime security agencies

Despite several efforts to step up coastal security,incidents of improper boat and fishermen registrations are only making things difficult for security agencies.

Written by Express News Service | Rajkot |
January 23, 2009 12:19:09 am

Despite several efforts to step up coastal security,incidents of improper boat and fishermen registrations are only making things difficult for security agencies. Intelligence inputs have once again sent an alert on the possibility of terrorists exploiting the 1,600 km long Gujarat coastline to infiltrate into Indian waters.

Consider this: on Wednesday,the Jakhau station of the Indian Coast Guard seized a boat with two names on display but a common registration number.

Earlier on Monday,the same agency had seized two boats without registration numbers and proper documents.

The Coast Guard,in a letter to the Fisheries and Customs departments,asked these agencies to strictly implement the rules.

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Earlier,the Coast Guard had also conducted a series of meetings with the fishermen and local district authorities in Porbandar and Junagadh districts to make all concerned aware about rules and regulations to be followed.

According to the Coast Guard,the rule says that a boat should have only one owner,a registration number and name and both should be clearly displayed on the body.

Double names and unregistered boats can easily be misused for any illegal activity. The 26/11 attackers had used a similar fishing boat,Kuber,to reach their destination from Karachi.

“We have seized a boat with two names — Safina Al Bashir and Fayeez Haji Kirmani — written on either side,” said a Coast Guard officer at Jakhau.

The official inquiry revealed that the boat had been sold to one Harun Zindal by its previous owner,Ganni Changdala,nearly six months ago. The new

owner has,however,put on the new name without erasing the old one.

The Fisheries and Customs departments,Coast Guard

and the Navy have been asked to keep a strict vigil on boat movement.

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