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Pakistan apprehends 12 boats, 65 fishermen off Gujarat coast

This is the biggest and the fourth major incident of apprehending Indian fishermen by PMSA since January this year.

11 boats were from Porbandar and one was from Okha. (File photo of captive Indian fishermen)

Pakistan Maritime Security Agency (PMSA) on Saturday apprehended around 65 fishermen along with their 12 boats off the Gujarat coast, officials of National Fishworkers Forum (NFF) said. This is the biggest and the fourth major incident of apprehending Indian fishermen by PMSA since January this year. “PMSA personnel have apprehended around 65 fishermen and their 12 boats off Gujarat coast,” Secretary of NFF Manish Lodhari said. “Those fishermen from Okha and Porbandar town of the state sailed off the coast of Gujarat four to five days ago and today they were held captive,” Lodhari said. He said around 11 boats were from Porbandar and one was from Okha.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The NFF official said he got to know about the incident from the fishermen who were in contact with him through a wireless phone set. “All those 65 fishermen are still in the middle of the Arabian sea and surrounded by the PMSA personnel when one of the sailors gave me this information,” Lodhari said. In April this year, PMSA had apprehended 47 fishermen along with their eight boats from Gujarat, while in March, the Pakistani security agency had captured 48 Indian fishermen and seized eight of their boats near Jakhau port off the Gujarat coast.Earlier in January, PMSA apprehended 38 Indian fishermen and seized seven of their boats near from International Maritime Boundary off Jakhau coast. Security concerns for the Indian fishermen were also raised last month, when a Gujarati fisherman identified as one Iqbal Bhatti was killed in firing near International Maritime Border Line (IMBL) in firing from some anonymous persons.

Patel quota row: No one is allowed to take law in hands, says Guj CM Anandiben

Her speech came against the backdrop of ongoing agitation by Patel community to get reservation under OBC quota

CM once again tried to convince the agitating communities by listing benefits of the scheme for economically weaker groups

In a stern message to the Patel quota agitation leaders, Gujarat Chief Minister Anandiben Patel on Friday said no one has the right to take law in hands and those found guilty of disturbing peace in the state will not be spared by police. “Police will do its work if someone tries to disturb the law and order situation in the state. No one is allowed to take law in his own hands, irrespective of his position in society. Everyone wants peace. There is no one who does not want it,” said Patel in her speech during the inauguration ceremony of a sports complex in Porbandar town of Saurashtra region.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Her speech came against the backdrop of ongoing agitation by Patel community to get reservation under OBC quota. Though the state government has announced a Rs 1,000-crore scheme for the economically weaker students in a bid to douse the stir, quota leader Hardik Patel vowed to continue the agitation, which had earlier turned violent and took lives of at least 10 persons in last week of August.In her speech today, the CM once again tried to convince the agitating communities by listing benefits of the scheme, named as Mukhyamantri Yuva Swavlamban Yojna (Chief Minister Youth Self-Reliance Scheme). “This is truly one of the kind of schemes in the country, in which we will ensure that bright students of all the communities does not face problem in getting education in want of money. The government will also bear the expenses of textbooks and provide scholarships. Now, no one will face injustice in Gujarat,” said Patel.

BJP MP Vitthal Radadiya files complaint following rumours on social media of quitting party

The message saying “Radadiya is quitting BJP and will soon join Congress” was circulated on Whatsapp.
File Photo
Image Courtesy: Twitter
BJP MP and Patel community leader on Saturday lodged a police complaint after messages of him “quitting” the party to join Congress went viral on social media.”I have seen the message and am deeply hurt. Some people are trying to malign my image” Radadiya said.”I have faxed a complaint in this regard to Rajkot police commissioner and requested him to nab the culprits quickly. I am with the BJP and will remain with the BJP. There is no question of leaving BJP,” the MP from Porbandar constituency said.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The message saying “Radadiya is quitting BJP and will soon join Congress” was circulated on Whatsapp. His son, Jayesh, a MLA from Jetpur constituency is minister of state water resources and tourism in the BJP-led Gujarat government.When contacted, Rajkot police commissioner Mohan Jha confirmed to have received the application.”He (Radadiya) has sent the application through fax to me and I have told the police inspector of Special Operation Group (SOG) to probe the matter” Jha told PTI.Radadiya, was earlier with the Congress, but he had left it and joined BJP after the 2012 state elections. The fire-brand leader had a couple of days back criticised Union Minister of State for Agriculture and Rajkot MP Mohanbhai Kundariya, saying “Kundariya should have been industry minister as he is a industrialist. He does not have knowledge in agriculture field”.

India gets new naval base in Porbandar

The new naval facility augments coastal surveillance and maritime security infrastructure in the strategically important state of Gujarat. This Forward Operating Base (FOB) would also enhance the logistic support being provided to Indian Navy units deployed in the Northern Arabian Sea, including along the International Maritime Boundary Line with Pakistan.

An Indian navy ship at the naval base in Porbandar

India on Saturday got a new naval base with the commissioning of ‘Sardar Patel’, the latest naval establishment at Porbandar in Gujarat. The new naval facility augments coastal surveillance and maritime security infrastructure in the strategically important state of Gujarat. This Forward Operating Base (FOB) would also enhance the logistic support being provided to Indian Navy units deployed in the Northern Arabian Sea, including along the International Maritime Boundary Line with Pakistan. Gujarat has a coastline of 1,600 km interspersed with 43 ports. Of these, besides Kandla being a major port, 11 are intermediate and 31 are minor ports. In addition, there are 12 single point moorings (SPMs) in the Gulf of Kutch. Presently 120 million tons, ie 71% of the country’s oil and 73% of gas is imported though the Gulf of Kutch, which is only steadily increasing. The ports of Gujarat handle 300 million tons of cargo annually, which is 43% of the total maritime trade handled by the various ports of India.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> In addition, the industrial development of Gujarat, with its high maritime component and considerable industrial infrastructure on the seafront, makes it vulnerable from sea not only during hostilities but also during peacetime. The economic importance of this frontal maritime state, in the overall national security dynamics, is the core factor governing sustenance and operation of naval assets from the Forward Operating Naval base at Porbandar.

Pak boat issue: Police to take legal opinion on filing FIR

“The issue is related to drugs smuggling. So we will take legal opinion about registering FIR, after the joint interrogation of the Pakistani nationals. The decision will be taken on whether they can be charged under the NDPS Act or any other act,” Pandya said.

The seized Pakistani boat (top) and The Pakistani fishermen who were arrested from a boat that was intercepted by the Indian Navy and the Coast Guard

Gujarat police will take legal opinion on registering a First Information Report (FIR) against eight Pakistani nationals caught with drugs worth Rs 600 crore from the sea.”The operation to nab Pakistani nationals and the boat with drugs was conducted in mid Arabian Sea. So there is a need to define jurisdiction,” said Superintendent of Police G A Pandya.”The issue is related to drugs smuggling. So we will take legal opinion about registering FIR, after the joint interrogation of the Pakistani nationals. The decision will be taken on whether they can be charged under the NDPS Act or any other act,” Pandya said.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Meanwhile, custody of all eight Pakistani nationals was handed over to the Indian Coast Guard (ICG) today, to conduct a panchanama and other legal procedure.”Custody of all eight Pakistani nationals, caught with a stock of narcotics worth Rs 600 crore, was handed over to the Indian Coast Guard today,” Pandya said.Yesterday, the Indian Coast Guard had given custody of the eight Pakistanis to the Special Operations Group (SOG) in Porbandar, while the boat was handed over to the Customs Department.In an intelligence-based joint operation, the Navy and the Coast Guard intercepted the boat on Monday. It carried narcotics whose street value is estimated to be Rs 600 crore, and arrested eight Pakistani crew onboard off Porbandar coast in Gujarat.

Coast guard seizes 200 kg heroin from suspected Pak boat off Porbandar coast in Gujarat

The Indian Navy and Coast Guard seized 200 kg of heroin worth nearly Rs 600 crores off Porbandar in Gujarat from a suspected Pakistani boat on Monday.

According to this IBN Live report, the consignment of narcotics was found with 8 Pakistani nationals, who were on board the boat at the time. They have now been taken into custody, along with two fisherman found near the site. Investigations are on regarding who was supposed to receive the consignment.

NewsTracker. AFPNewsTracker. AFP

Representation image. AFP

Three warships from the Navy and Coast Guard and several surveillance aircrafts, including Dorniers, an Il-38 and a P8I, were involved in the operation, reports Hindustan Times.

The operation was launched a week earlier based on intelligence inputs, and the area was under survelliance for days. “Phones and GPS were being used to facilitate trans-shipment of contraband to another boat,” said a Defence Ministry statement, in the report.

Three satellite phones were also found from the boat, with the last location being Porbandar.

In this Indian Express report, the officials who traced the phones said that the heroin was stored in boxes which was topped with more empty boxes.

When the officers did a thorough search of the boat, they found the entire consignment.

The Commander of Coast Guard (North West), Kuldip Singh Sheoran, said in the report, “The boat has been intercepted close to Porbandar coast. The operation is, however, going on at the sea for verification of the sailors and contraband and will be informed in detail after verification process is over.”

This incident comes around 3 months after a boat, allegedly from Pakistan, blew itself up off the Gujarat coast. On New Year’s eve, intelligence agencies had said that a boat from Karachi was expected at the coast to carry out “illicit activities”, reports NDTV. After a round of patrolling and firing towards the boat, the men on board set the entire vessel on fire, with no recoveries found.

Pakistani vessel with 8 ‘smugglers’ intercepted off Porbandar coast

The security officials unearthed 140 kilograms of drugs (heroin) worth over a crore and two satellite phones from the boat. The boat was intercepted somewhere between the Jakhau and Porbandar ports, said reports.

Representational image.

A Pakistani vessel with 8 suspected smugglers on board was understood to have been intercepted off the coast of Porbandar on Monday.Accodring to reports, the operation was carried out by a joint team of the Indian Coast Guard and the Indian Navy. Three warships from the navy and Coast Guard and a Dornier surveillance aircraft were involved in the operation. The security officials unearthed 140 kilograms of drugs (heroin) worth over a crore and two satellite phones from the boat. The boat was intercepted somewhere between the Jakhau and Porbandar ports, said reports.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Earlier, A suspicious fishing boat carrying explosives from Pakistan was intercepted by Indian Coast Guard in Arabian Sea near Indo-Pak maritime boundary but it sank after the crew on board set it on fire, an incident that comes a month after sixth anniversary of the Mumbai terror attack.The incident, which occurred on the intervening night of December 31, 2014, and January 1 some 365-km off the Porbander coast, was being regarded in some quarters as being reminiscent of the 2008 Mumbai terror strike.More details awaited.

48 Indian fishermen captured by Pakistan; 8 boats seized

The Pakistan Maritime Security Agency (MSA) on Friday apprehended 48 Indian fishermen and seized 8 of their boats near Jakhau port off the Gujarat coast, officials of National Fishworkers Forum (NFF) said. The Forum claimed that the Pakistani agency guards fired several rounds in the air to overpower these fishermen before taking them to Karachi from Indian waters.

File Photo
Reuters
The Pakistan Maritime Security Agency (MSA) on Friday apprehended 48 Indian fishermen and seized 8 of their boats near Jakhau port off the Gujarat coast, officials of National Fishworkers Forum (NFF) said. The Forum claimed that the Pakistani agency guards fired several rounds in the air to overpower these fishermen before taking them to Karachi from Indian waters.Talking to PTI, NFF secretary Manish Lodhari said, “The Pakistan MSA apprehended 48 Indian fishermen along with 8 of their boats near Jakhau port off the Gujarat coast in the Arabian sea this morning.”According to him, they came to know about the incident from other fishermen, who came back.”We learned that all the fishermen and boats belonged to Porbandar and Veraval. The Pakistani agency abducted these fishermen from Indian waters by firing several rounds in the air. They were taken to Karachi and lodged in jail,” he said.In December last year, the MSA had captured 58 fishermen and seized 11 of their boats near the International Maritime Boundary near Jakhau port. Thereafter, on January 4, the MSA had apprehended 12 Indian fishermen and seized their two boats near the International Maritime Boundary.This incident had come close on the heels of the Indian Coast Guard intercepting a Pakistani fishing boat off the coast of Gujarat. The boat, which was said to be carrying explosives, was intercepted on the intervening night of December 31 and January 1 around 365-km off the Porbandar coast, before it reportedly exploded, caught fire and sunk with four crew members on board.

Pakistan captures 48 Indian fishermen, 8 boats off Gujarat coast

Ahmedabad: The Pakistan Maritime Security Agency (MSA) on Friday apprehended 48 Indian fishermen and seized 8 of their boats near Jakhau port off the Gujarat coast, officials of National Fishworkers Forum (NFF) said.

The Forum claimed that the Pakistani agency guards fired several rounds in the air to overpower these fishermen before taking them to Karachi from Indian waters.

Representational image. AFPRepresentational image. AFP

Representational image. AFP

Talking to PTI, NFF secretary Manish Lodhari said, “The Pakistan MSA apprehended 48 Indian fishermen along with 8 of their boats near Jakhau port off the Gujarat coast in the Arabian sea this morning.”

According to him, they came to know about the incident from other fishermen, who came back.

“We learned that all the fishermen and boats belonged to Porbandar and Veraval. The Pakistani agency abducted these fishermen from Indian waters by firing several rounds in the air. They were taken to Karachi and lodged in jail,” he said.

In December last year, the MSA had captured 58 fishermen and seized 11 of their boats near the International Maritime Boundary near Jakhau port.

Thereafter, on January 4, the MSA had apprehended 12 Indian fishermen and seized their two boats near the International Maritime Boundary.

This incident had come close on the heels of the Indian Coast Guard intercepting a Pakistani fishing boat off the coast of Gujarat. The boat, which was said to be carrying explosives, was intercepted on the intervening night of December 31 and January 1 around 365-km off the Porbandar coast, before it reportedly exploded, caught fire and sunk with four crew members on board.

PTI

Pakistan ups the ante on International Border, kills one BSF trooper; over 9,000 villagers in samba, Kathua move to safer places

After a brief lull, Pakistani Rangers resumed unprovoked shelling on the Border Security Force (BSF) posts and civilian areas killing one jawan along the International Border (IB) in the Samba district of Jammu division on Monday.The cross border shelling has sparked fresh wave of fear prompting at least 9,000 people living in the border villages to migrate and take shelter in temporary relief camps set up by the Jammu and Kashmir government in safer places.Inspector General of BSF, Jammu frontier, Rakesh Sharma told dna that Pakistani Rangers started fresh firing and shelling from 2 pm which was continuing. “In the incident one of our boys was martyred,” he said.BSF troops immediately responded to the shelling to silence the Pakistani guns. “We are retaliating. The firing is continuing,” Sharma said.Pakistani Rangers also targeted border villages in the Hiranagar sector of Kathua district damaging more than 15 houses. “The shelling started at 2.30 pm in which 15 houses have been damaged,” Shahid Iqbal Chaudhary, district development commissioner of Kathua told dna.What has added a dangerous dimension to the shelling is that Pakistan Rangers are using long range weaponry to target the villages deep in the hinterland on the Indian side. “Their shells are now landing in four kilometer range”, said Shahid.Pakistani Rangers were earlier using mortar shells which could hit the target in the range of one and three kilometers. The Pakistani Rangers are now using long range mortars possibly 81 mm shells which can hit targets in four to five kilometers range.The firing has triggered massive migration from border villages in the twin districts of Samba and Kathua. “People are in process of shifting to safer places. So far more around 4,000 people have migrated in Samba,” Mubarak Singh, DDC Samba told dna.Sixteen temporary shelter camps have been set up in Samba district for the people displaced by the cross border shelling. A control room has also been established which is functioning round the clock to help the people in distress.Around 4,500 people have migrated from 11 villages after shelling across International Border in Kathua district. District administration has established 10 relief camps at Haria Chak, Hiranagar, Nagial, Plat, Chak Kanha, Banyari, Chadwal, Sherpur, Nagri and Sallan where 1,841 migrants of 491 families have been provided safe accommodation and basic amenities.”The number of people shifting from border villages is expected to rise given the fresh shelling,” said Shahid. Rajnath reviews internal securityAgainst the backdrop Pakistan resuming shelling targeting scores of Border Out Posts and civilian areas along International Border in Samba and Kathua districts, Union home minister Rajnath Singh on Monday chaired a high-level meeting in New Delhi to review country’s internal security. The attended by National Security Advisor Ajit Doval, Intelligence Bureau chief Dineshwar Sharma, Research and Analysis Wing chief Rajinder Khanna and other officials.Though officially meeting was described as ‘routine’, sources said the home minister told the security agencies to reply any provocation with full force. Officials said the situation along the International Border with Pakistan along with internal security was on agenda. The meeting was also told that security along the coastal areas in Gujarat has been tightened after a Pakistani boat was intercepted which later exploded near the Porbandar coast on the intervening night of December 31 and January 1.

One ‘terror’ boat occupant should have been caught alive: Congress

PTI
A top Gujarat Congress leader on Saturday said it would have been better if at least one of the occupants of the “terror” boat had been captured alive even as he alleged loopholes in the State’s coastal security.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 on December 31 night. “We had caught a 26/11 terrorist (Ajmal Kasab) alive during the operation. It would have been better if at least one of the boat occupants had been caught alive. “India then could have told the world their handlers belonged to Pakistan,” said Shaktisinh Gohil, Congress MLA and former Leader of Opposition in Gujarat Assembly.About the circumstances under which the suspected Pakistani boat caught fire and exploded, he said “only time will tell what was the exact reason.” The Congress leader alleged that the BJP Government in Gujarat has not taken adequate measures to provide foolproof coastal security. “A CAG report in 2013 observed that coastal security measures have not been fully implemented in Gujarat, which has the longest sea coast in the country.” The BJP Government has also failed to fully utilise funds meant for buying speed boats for deployment along the maritime border with Pakistan, Gohil said, and recalled the boat used in the 26/11 terror attack was from Porbandar.

Was it indeed a terror boat?

Coast Guard intercepts suspicious vessel, but no one says where it came from, what it was carrying

Graphic: Nagesh Baitadiya

The Coast Guard on Friday said that it had intercepted a suspicious fishing boat, 365 km off the Porbandar coast on December 31 night, thus botching a repeat of 26/11.When the Coast Guard fired warning shots and asked the crew to stop and identify, the crew set the boat afire.Defence ministry sources recounted the entire episode this way: A day earlier, on December 30, the National Technical Research Organisation (NTRO) had intercepted a conversation from Karachi on “transferring vital equipment” to the western coast of India.The Karachi-based guy also said that the cost of each equipment ran into several lakhs of rupees. Another conversation from the same global positioning point said ‘receivers’ have been paid handsomely to transport the consignment, defence sources claimed.The NTRO intercepts were then passed on to the Coast Guard and then the action started.The Coast Guard’s claim, however, leaves several questions unanswered. Even the defence ministry’s well-crafted “official statement” is far from convincing.Here’s what what the ministry statement said:”As per intelligence inputs received on December 31, a fishing boat from Keti Bunder near Karachi was planning some “illicit transaction” in the Arabian Sea. A Coast Guard ship warned the fishing boat to stop for further investigation. However, the boat increased speed and tried to escape from the Indian side.”The hot pursuit continued for nearly one hour and the Coast Guard ship managed to stop the fishing boat after firing warning shots. Four persons were seen aboard the boat and they disregarded all warnings by the Coast Guard. Soon thereafter, the crew hid themselves in the deck below and set the boat afire, which resulted in an explosion and a major fire on the boat.” Where’s the defence ministry slipping?The ministry did not say what kind of cargo the boat was carrying. It didn’t say the boat was carrying explosives. All it said was “illicit transaction”. It did not even say whether the boat was of Pakistani origin or not.Why cannot it be called a fidayeen (suicide) attack?According to the Coast Guard, the crew of the boat hid themselves in deck compartment below and set it afire. “If it really was a boat carrying terrorists for a 26/11 kind of an attack, its crew would have attacked the Coast Guard ship first and blown up the boat only after harming the Coast Guard, ” said a senior intelligence official.Was the boat in Indian or international waters?Even senior intelligence agency wonder why the Coast Guard chased the boat when it was on the fringe of India’s exclusive economic zone (EEZ). The EEZ extends up to 200 nautical miles or 370 km. According to UN convention, a nation can chase or intercept suspicious vessels if they prohibit the passage the host nation’s passage or if they (suspicious vessels) loiter above or under the surface of the sea. That was not the case here, officials say.When can Coast Guard/Navy intercept a vessel?As per international protocol, the Indian Navy or the Coast Guard can exert limited control for preventing or punishing “infringement of its customs, fiscal, immigration or sanitary laws and regulations, or can take punitive action against a loitering ship only in the contiguous zone which extends from the outer edge of the territorial sea to up to 24 nautical miles or 44.4 km. What are the other possibilities?There could be many other possibilities that only a proper investigation could unravel. Here are some:Was the boat smuggling liquor or some contraband?Was it meant to deliver goods within Pakistan and strayed off its course and ventured into Indian waters?Did the Coast Guard fire at the boat? Was it the Coast Guard firing that set the boat afire?

Porbandar: Two more suspicious boats intercepted by the Coast Guard

Two days after four men blew their boat after being cornenerd by Indian ships near Porbandar, two more suspicious boats have been intercepted by the Coast Guard reportedly. Two ships have been dispatched to inspect these suspicious boats.An intelligence-based midnight operation was conducted by the Coast Guard ships and aircraft to intercept the suspect fishing boat, approximately 365 km off Porbander in Gujarat, on the intervening night of December 31 and January 1 after a hot pursuit. As per the intelligence inputs received on December 31, a fishing boat from Keti Bunder near Karachi was planning some illicit transaction in Arabian Sea, a statement by the Defence Minsitry said on Friday.Also read:http://www.dnaindia.com/india/report-pakistani-vessel-carrying-explosives-intercepted-in-gujarat-coast-4-member-crew-sets-itself-on-fire-2048947The hot pursuit continued for nearly one hour and the Coast Guard ship managed to stop the fishing boat after firing warning shots. Four persons were seen on the boat who disregarded all warnings by the Coast Guard ship to stop and cooperate with investigation, the statement said. Soon thereafter, the crew hid themselves in below deck compartment and set the boat on fire, which resulted in an explosion and major fire on the boat, it said.”Four persons were seen on the boat who disregarded all warnings by the Coast Guard ship to stop and cooperate with investigation,” the Defence Ministry statement said. “Due to darkness, bad weather and strong winds, the boat and persons on board could not be saved or recovered. The boat burnt and sank in the same position in early hours of Jan 1,” the statement said.