Indian govt removes BK Loshali over Pak boat incident

NEW DELHI: Narendra Modi government on Tuesday removed Coast Guard officer BK Loshali, who had contradicted the Defence Ministry’s version on the explosion of a Pakistani boat on the night of December 31 last year. Loshali, who was Chief of Staff at the Northwest region, will now face a Board of Inquiry at Gandhinagar.

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Last week, the Defence Ministry had found Loshali’s apology for his explosive remarks unsatisfactory.

“Let me tell you. I hope you remember 31st December night. We blew off that Pakistani boat. We have blown them off. I was there at Gandhinagar and I told that night: blow the boat off. We don’t want to serve them biryani,” Loshali had said during the launch of a Coast Guard interceptor at Hazira.

As the remarks produced a huge controversy, Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar said he stood by his statement that the suspicious Pakistani fishing boat blew itself off the Gujarat coast after being chased on December 31 last year and was not destroyed by the Coast Guard, adding that he will take disciplinary action against the officer who claimed otherwise.

Loshali later denied making the statement calling the Indian newspaper report “not factual”. The newspaper hit back with a video showing Loshali making the remarks at an event. The government on Friday released another video to show that the Pakistani boat was not blown up by India.

Pakistan had also attacked India for claiming the fishing boat was carrying explosives. “It has been proven from the contradictory statements issued by top Indian officials that the boat issue was a drama that has now been exposed,” Pakistan’s Foreign Secretary Tasneem Aslam had said.

(Agencies)

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