This commentary could be divided in three parts
Neither the scribe nor most of the readers can claim themselves an expert of Military Science or Defense. We will take it as it comes.
But, before that, let us share a popular Naval Joke.
A young Naval Officer was in a terrible car accident, but due to the heroics of the hospital staff the only permanent injury was the loss of one ear. Since he wasn’t physically impaired he remained in the military and eventually became an Admiral. However, during his career he was always sensitive about his appearance. One day the Admiral was interviewing two Navy Master Chiefs and a Marine Gunnery Sergeant for his personal staff. The first Master Chief was a Surface Navy type and it was a great interview. At the end of the interview the Admiral asked him, “Do you notice anything different about me?”
The Master Chief answered, “Why yes. I couldn’t help but notice you are missing your starboard ear, so I don’t know whether this impacts your hearing on that side.” The Admiral got very angry at this lack of tact and threw him out of his office. The next candidate, an Aviation Master Chief, when asked this same question, answered, “Well yes, you seem to be short one ear.” The Admiral threw him out also. The third interview was with the Marine Gunnery Sergeant . He was articulate, extremely sharp, and seemed to know more than the two Master Chiefs put together. The Admiral wanted this guy, but went ahead with the same question.
“Do you notice anything different about me?” To his surprise the Gunnery Sergeant said, “Yes. You wear contact lenses.” The Admiral was impressed and thought to himself, what an incredibly tactful Marine. “And how do you know that?” the Admiral asked. The Gunny replied, “Well sir, it’s pretty hard to wear glasses with only one ear.”
Now we begin our story that is just a repeat of past narratives.
Part – 1
On Jan5, 2015, the Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar had informed the nation that “circumstantial evidence” indicated that the Pakistani boat intercepted by Indian Coast Guard on New Year’s night had suspected terror links. He had dismissed the claims that the occupants of boat were smugglers. He categorically maintained that he would classify them as “suspected or possible terrorists” since they had committed suicide after being intercepted. They were in touch with Pakistani maritime officials – army and international contacts. The boat was neither in a fishing area nor on any busy route preferred by smugglers to sneak in and that their actions indicate that they were there for “some other kind of activity.
We are not sure what is that other kind. Even smugglers of gold, drugs and other contraband normally take a busy route since it is easy to hide and mingle with other boats.” He said that intercepted satellite communication showed they were interacting about passing of cargo and talking about families of some of the boat members. “A normal boat, even carrying some drugs, can throw away their drugs and surrender. No one is going to be killing himself unless you are motivated enough to do that. Not speculating that it had explosives but it had some activity in mind that does not fit the description of smuggling boat. Which smuggler would commit suicide? That much I can say.” Parrikar underlined that operating procedures for Coast Guard were clear.
The Minister complimented the Coast Guard saying they did the right job at the right time.
Grilling the government, the Congress leadership had asked the government to come clean on the matter. It was a virtual slugfest with the ruling BJP which accused the former of providing “ammunition to Pakistan” and speaking their language besides playing “petty politics” on terror.
Part – 2
The Indian Express on Wednesday reported the contents of a video in which DIG BK Loshali is heard saying: “Let me tell you… I hope you remember 31st December night… we blew off that Pakistan… We have blown them off… I was there at Gandhinagar and I told at night, blow the boat off. We don’t want to serve them biryani…” Loshali is also Chief of Staff (North West Region), Coast Guard, Gandhinagar, was speaking at a gathering of officials from the Coast Guard and Larsen & Toubro during the launch of Coast Guard interceptor boat ICGS C-421, designed and built by L&T, Surat.
Part – 3
Feb 18, 2015, at a press conference at Aero India, Defence Minister Manohar Parikkar stood by the statements he made earlier, saying the boat had self-destructed on December 31. “As of now we have a denial from him (Loshali),” Parrikar said. “If any one shows evidence we will take disciplinary action against the DIG.” He added, “If the DIG has indeed made a statement then it is a wrong statement warranting an inquiry and disciplinary action.”
Since the blow-up of the boat, questions had been regularly asked as to why would they blow themselves up? Why wouldn’t they just surrender? Why a small fishing trawler was able to evade a modern Coast Guard interceptor?