NEW DELHI — Coast Guard Deputy Inspector General (DIG) B K Loshali, who was the Chief of Staff in the Northwest region has been removed from his post after he contradicted the official version of the December 31 incident.
Loshali will reportedly face the Board of Inquiry (BoI) in Gandhinagar to establish the facts.
According to media reports, Loshali had ordered officers following a suspicious Pakistani vessel in the Arabian Sea to 'blow the boat off', thus contradicting the government's claim that it had exploded under suspicious circumstances.
The Coast Guard had intercepted the vessel near the India-Pakistan maritime boundary, which lies approximately 365 kilometres away from Porbandar.
According to a statement by the Ministry of Defence, the suspects had attempted to flee before ultimately setting their vessel on fire, which resulted in an explosion. Ultimately, the boat burnt and sank in the early hours of January 1. None of the people on board could be saved and the material could not be recovered.
"This is a routine procedure. Since a BoI is on, he has been attached to the zonal headquarters in Gandhinagar as per standard operating procedure," Coast Guard sources told PTI.
BoI has been ordered against him by the Coast Guard after they found his reply "unsatisfactory" to a showcause notice on his remarks that he had ordered blowing up of a Pakistani boat.
Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar, the Ministry and the Coast Guard had maintained that when the boat was chased on the intervening night of December 31 and January 1 by Coast Guard ships, four men on board had set it ablaze.
The Coast Guard has said "suitable action will be taken on receipt of the proceedings of the Board of Inquiry".