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Coast Guard DIG Loshali sacked

boat

New Delhi: Coast Guard DIG B K Loshali has been sacked following a Board of Inquiry over his comments that contradicted the government’s stand on the sinking of a Pakistan fishing boat last year.

“He was dismissed from services after the Board of Inquiry found him guilty of all the charges on Saturday. The inquiry was conducted by a panel of senior DIG (Deputy Inspector General) rank officers for over three months,” said a senior Coast Guard official.

On eve the of New Year last year, a Pakistani fishing boat said to be carrying explosives was intercepted by the Indian Coast Guard off the coast of Gujarat, but the vessel exploded and caught fire before sinking along with four occupants. Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar had said the “circumstantial evidence” indicated that the Pakistani boat had suspected terror links.

Dismissing claims that the occupants of boat were smugglers, the Minister had said he would classify them as “suspected or possible terrorists” since they had committed suicide after being intercepted and added that they were in touch with Pakistani maritime officials, “army and international contacts”.

While the government has claimed that the Pakistani boat had been set on fire by its crew, Loshali told an audience of Coast Guard and Larsen & Toubro officials on February 15 that he had ordered to blow off the boat, which was a major embarrassment for the government as well as the Coast Guard.

On “31st December night. I was there at Gandhinagar, and I told at night, blow the boat off. We don’t want to serve them biryani,” Loshali had said. Following this, the government had removed Loshali from the position of Chief of Staff, North West and attached him to the force’s Gandhinagar-based regional headquarters.

A Board of Inquiry at Mumbai was also constituted to look into the matter, which probed the matter for over three months and court martialed him.