November 26, 2008 9:37:35 am
A Thailand-based fishing company has claimed that the pirate ‘mother ship’ the Indian Navy destroyed in the Gulf of Aden last week was one of its deep sea fishing trawlers and was being hijacked by pirates when it was blown up by INS Tabar.
The Navy was flooded with queries after Wicharn Sirichaiekawat, manager of Bangkok-based Sirichai Fisheries, told local reporters that the warship hit the company’s Ekawat Nava 5 vessel which was being chased and attacked by pirates. He said a crew member was dead and 14 werestill missing.
Sirichaiekawat said the incident came to light after one of the crew members who survived the battle between the Indian Navy and the pirates was rescued by a passing vessel and dropped off at Yemen. The company had earlier reported that one of its fishing vessels went missing in the Gulf of Aden on November 18, the day the Indian Navy destroyed a pirate vessel.
But the Navy maintained that it fired on the vessel in self-defence after coming under attack. The Navy said there was ample proof that the sunken vessel had pirates on board and armed bandits were seen roaming on the bridge.
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