Mumbai: Coast Guard DIG B K Loshali has been sacked after being indicted over his comments that contradicted the government’s stand on the sinking of a Pakistan fishing boat last year. “Procedure of General Court Martial Proceedings has been completed. He has being dismissed from service,” a senior Coast Guard official said.
He was facing court martial proceedings from September after being indicted by a Board of Inquiry. The proceedings were conducted by a panel of senior DIG (Deputy Inspector General) rank officers.
On the eve of New Year last year, a Pakistani fishing boat said to be carrying explosives was intercepted by the Indian Coast Guard off the Gujarat coast, but the vessel exploded and caught fire before sinking along with four occupants.
Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar had said the “circumstantial evidence” indicated that the Pakistani boat had suspected terror links. Dismissing claims that the occupants of boat were smugglers, the Minister had said he would classify them as “suspected or possible terrorists” since they had committed suicide after being intercepted and added that they were in touch with Pakistani maritime officials, “army and international contacts”.
While the government has claimed that the Pakistani boat had been set on fire by its crew, Loshali told an audience of Coast Guard and Larsen & Toubro officials on February 15 that he had ordered to blow off the boat, which was a major embarrassment for the government.
On “31st December night. I was there at Gandhinagar, and I told at night, blow the boat off. We don’t want to serve them biryani,” Loshali had said. Following this, the government had removed Loshali 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 also constituted to look into the matter, which probed the matter for over three months and court martialed him.