December 27, 2010 3:18:28 am
A ship carrying 16 Pakistani and three Iraqi nationals was detained off the coast of Lakshadweep on Sunday after the vessel illegally entered its territorial waters.
The ship was heading to an unknown destination when it was stopped by the Coast Guard and the Navy,the sources said.
The ship has been anchored off Lakshwadeeps capital Kavaratti.
Security agencies are questioning the 19 persons on board the ship. Sources said they were not forthcoming in giving out details about their voyage.
The initial suspicion amounted to the ships movement towards the Maldives,which,according to the sources,is now a preferred destination of the Pakistan-based terror groups. However,the sources did not rule out the vessel sailing towards any of the unoccupied islands in Lakshadweep or Daman and Diu areas.
The ship was being thoroughly combed and a special team was being sent from Delhi to carry out the searches as well as to interrogate the ships crew,the sources added.
In a bid to take on piracy,a new Coast Guard (CG) headquarters and a station were inaugurated by Defence Minister A K Antony at Lakshadweep islands two days ago,on December 24. The headquarters of the CG district-12 in Kavaratti and the station at Minicoy are part of the Coast Guards expansion plans and to combat the threat from pirates and sea brigands in the Indian territorial waters.
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