This handout photograph released by The Indian Ministry of Defence, is said to show a burning vessel off the coast of the western Indian state of Gujarat in the Arabian Sea early on January 1, 2015. – AFP photo
NEW DELHI: The crew of an alleged Pakistani fishing boat blew up and sank their vessel after trying to evade capture at the hands of the Indian navy in a high-speed chase at sea, officials said Friday.
All four people on board the vessel from Keti Bunder, near Karachi are believed to have been killed in the dramatic episode in the Arabian Sea on New Year’s Eve, India’s defence ministry claims.
Although the defence ministry would only say that the crew were planning “some illicit transaction”, it also stated that the boat was carrying explosives.
Indian media has played up the event, alleging that a terror threat was imminent from what Times of India has termed the “Pak Terror Boat”.
However, links to terrorism have not been established or claimed.
Ajay Kumar Pandey, a spokesman for the Indian Coast Guard, declined to comment when asked whether the explosives believed to be on board the fishing boat, which sank, were intended for use in a possible attack…
Reuters is even more skeptical: It was not possible to independently verify the Indian account. In a first reaction, Pakistan’s foreign ministry said it was unclear whether the incident had happened at all.