Friday, 20 February 2015

Critical Evidence of Ghastly Crime Emerges in Blasting of the Fishing Boat by the Indian Coast Guards in High Seas

-Rajesh Tyagi/ 21.2.2015 

More definite evidence has surfaced in the case of blasting of an alleged Pakistani boat by the Indian Armed Forces in high seas, off the coast of Gujarat near Porbandar Port, on the eve of the New Year 2015.

The clinching video evidence, released yesterday by newspaper 'Indian Express', leaves no trace of doubt that the high officials of Indian Coast Guards had ordered the blasting of the fishing boat, to celebrate the New Year eve through real fireworks, a crime forthwith covered up by the Ministry of Defence, under right-wing Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP). 

The boat, allegedly of Pakistani origin, was shown caught up in fire with smoke billowing from it in a video released by the Defence Ministry on January 2, 2015.

Immediately after the incident, in its official press release, the Coast Guards had claimed, “The Coast Guard ship warned the fishing boat to stop for further investigation of the crew and cargo; however, the boat increased speed and tried to escape away from the Indian side of maritime boundary … the Coast Guard ship managed to stop the fishing boat after firing warning shots,” the coast guard said, in the statement. “Four persons were seen on the boat who disregarded all warnings by the Coast Guard ship to stop and cooperate with investigation. Soon thereafter, the crew hid themselves in below deck compartment and set the boat on fire, which resulted in explosion and major fire on the boat.”

The January 2, official Defence Ministry release, had claimed that “after more than an hour of chase, the (boat’s) crew hid themselves in below deck compartment and set the boat on fire, which resulted in explosion and major fire on the boat”. The release sought to create an impression that the suspect boat was harboring ‘terrorists’ from neighboring Pakistan.

“Undoubtedly it was a terrorist plot, had they been smugglers, they would have surrendered. Motivation to blow oneself up is only among terrorists.” claimed Raj Kadyan, former deputy chief of army staff.”

KR Nautiyal, a senior official of the Indian coast guard, told ANI that “the four people on board the fishing vessel had ignored repeated warnings by the security forces, and had deliberately set the boat on fire”.

"The crew of the boat committed suicide rather than surrendering, presumably a major tragedy has been averted," Rear Admiral Raja Menon, former assistant chief of naval staff, claimed.

Taking two steps forward media added that the occupants of the boat have fired upon the chasing Cost Guards.

Eyebrows were however raised by a section of local and foreign media on the incident involving the fishing boat, but lacked any evidence to the contrary.

However, this week, B.K. Loshali, the DIG Coast Guards, set the cat out of the bag, telling an audience of Coast Guard and Larsen & Toubro officials, that 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”.

The reference to “biryani” was apparent reference to the captured Ajmal Kasab, who remained incarcerated in Pune jail till his execution for his alleged role in 26/11 Mumbai carnage and was quoted to have been served ‘biryani’, a popular rice-chicken dish in Pakistan, as food, during his incarceration in Indian jail. Through the blatant claim of Loshali, “We don’t want to serve them biryani”, is reflected the unclaimed policy of Indian establishment of ‘taking no hostages’.

The boat was blasted, quickly engulfed in fire, with no trace left of its occupants. Defence Ministry, however, was quick to cover-up the savagery through its unbelievable and baseless claim that the occupants of the boat have themselves set it to fire.

The official story was however belied by the video released by Indian Express newspaper where Loshali had boasted about his role in ordering blasting of the boat, without any warning, probably killing all of its occupants. Video was released by Indian Express, after Loshali denied the incriminating statement made by him.

Confronted with two versions, at a press conference in Bangalore on February 18, the trapped Defence Minister, Manohar Parikker, left with no choice, shamefacedly defended the official version issued by the Ministry on January 2, claiming that ‘occupants of the boat have themselves set the same on fire’.

At the press conference, Parikker said that the DIG’s speech could result in a “case of disciplinary proceedings for wrong statement”, and promised to release the video of the operation.

To reinforce its claim, the Defence Ministry issued a new video of 4 minutes 37 seconds of the incident, which instead of confirming the claim of Ministry, seems to bely it, on the face of it.

Failing to reconcile the statement of Loshali with the official stance of Defence Ministry, an official communiqué issued by Coast Guards on February 20, stated, “In response to various news reports emerging in print and electronic media on the issue of interception of suspect boat by Indian Coast Guard ship, it is clarified that the Coast Guard stands by the information released to media vide MoD Press Release dated 02 January 2015…..It has also been established from the Commanding Officer of the Indian Coast Guard Ship (ICGS) Rajratan, involved in the operation on the night of 31 December 2014, that he had received no communication from DIG B K Loshali”.

However, this statement in no way explains the claim of Loshali, in the video released by the Indian Express.

Infuriated over the brazen exposure of its brutal unofficial policy of taking ‘no hostages’, within hours of report by Indian Express, the Defence Ministry issued show-cause notice to Loshali, demanding his explanation within 48 hours, and recording its displeasure over the explanation offered by Loshali, has set-up a Board of Inquiry on February 20, that may eventually lead to a full Court Martial against Loshali.

Press statement from ICGS, claimed “DIG B K Loshali was served a show cause notice on 18 February 2015. The reply to the notice has been received and is found to be unsatisfactory. Therefore, in accordance with the extant procedures, a Board of Inquiry (BOI) has been ordered to investigate the details and establish the facts. Suitable action will be taken on receipt of the proceedings of the BOI”.

The BOI, appointed to whitewash the incident and lay ground for punishing Loshali, is comprised, of three-members, two officers of DIG rank, and headed by a senior Coast Guard official. It will submit its report to the Coast Guard headquarters, after which Loshali might face court martial.

Showing no repentance over or retreat from its inhuman and illegal practices, the Government is looking forward for prosecution of the official, whose bragging has resulted in the exposure.

The parties of bourgeois opposition, like Congress, have only demanded a clear stand from the government on the issue, evading any opposition to the government on this predatory act. Manish Tiwari, spokesman for the Congress said, "If they were terrorists, the act is welcome. If they were someone else, the government should make it clear". Parties like AAP, have opted to remain tight-lipped in favour of 'national interest'. 

Not surprisingly, none of the Stalinist Parties or groups in India have come out to denounce the illegal and inhuman act of Indian Armed Forces in setting the fishing boat to fire, probably killing all of its four occupants. Bound up, as they remain to the capitalist establishment of their nations, none of the Stalinist leaders would confront their national states on the issues that relate to 'national interests and national security'. 

The national rivalry between the two capitalist states of India and Pakistan, rooted in the 1947 communal partition of the Indian sub-continent, has been the source of at least three wars between the two and innumerable minor clashes that have resulted in loss of thousands of lives and most inhuman crimes from both sides. This is in addition to the brutal violence during partition itself, that still remains unparalleled in history taking toll upon two million lives, rapes, arsons and looting.

The victims of this national rivalry, have been poors and toilers on both sides of the border, while this rivalry and the communal strife of hindu-muslim attached to it, has immensely helped the capitalist rulers on both sides of the border to divide the people and cling to power.

The way out of this dragnet of national and communal Indo-Pak strife is to undo the partition of 47 through a proletarian revolution in South Asia and unite the South-Asian states including India and Pakistan into a voluntary Socialist Union of these States.  

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