SHAFAQNA- A suspicious Pakistani fishing boat intercepted by the Coast Guard and navy in the Arabian sea exploded and sank after its crew set fire to it, the Indian government said Friday.
The boat had set off from Keti Bunder near Karachi and was planning ‘some illicit transaction’ in the Arabian Sea, a defence ministry statement said.
Indian Coast Guard ships and navy aircraft tried to intercept the boat near the India-Pakistan maritime boundary, about 365 km from Porbander in Gujarat, on the night of Dec 31-Jan 1.
A Coast Guard ship warned the boat to stop for investigation of the crew and cargo. But the vessel increased speed and tried to get away.
‘(A) hot pursuit continued for nearly one hour, and the Coast Guard ship managed to stop the fishing boat after firing warning shots,’ the statement said.
‘Four persons were seen on the boat who disregarded all warnings by the Coast Guard ship to stop and cooperate with investigation.’
The suspicious crew then hid themselves below the deck and set the vessel on fire, resulting in an explosion and a major fire.
‘Due to darkness, bad weather and strong winds, the boat and persons on board could not be saved or recovered. The boat burnt and sank in the same position in early hours of Jan 1,’ the statement said.