Pak fishing boat row: Coast Guard DIG Loshali dismissed

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Indian Coast Guard deputy inspector general (DIG) BK Loshali has been dismissed from service over his comments, which were not in consonance with the government’s stand on the sinking of a Pakistan fishing boat last year.

He was sacked after he was found guilty of all the charges on 12 December. The inquiry was conducted by a panel of senior DIG rank officers for over three months, according to a report.

On New Year eve last year, a Pakistani fishing boat carrying explosives was intercepted by the Coast Guard off the Gujarat coast, but the boat caught fire before sinking with its occupants.

Dismissing claims that the boat’s occupants were smugglers, defense minister Manohar Parrikar said they were “suspected or possible terrorists”, adding they were in touch with Pakistani maritime officials.

While India claimed the boat was blown up by its crew, Loshali told the Coast Guard and L&T officials on February 15 earlier this year he had ordered to blow off the boat. On 31 December last year, “I told them to blow the boat off. We don’t want to serve them biryani,” said Loshali.

Later, an embarrassed government removed him 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 constituted to look into the matter, which probed the matter and court martialed him.