India’s coastal defences, beefed after the Mumbai attacks in 2009, came good in thwarting a suspected terrorist attack from the sea near the Indo-Pakistan maritime boundary on December 31.
The Indian Navy, Coast Guard and intelligence agencies had set up radars and improved coordination to identify and intercept terrorist threats coming from the sea after the Mumbai attacks in which 200 innocent lives had been lost. The success of yesterday’s operation looks in part a result of the alertness of the coastal defence systems.
An official Indian MoD statement said, "Coast Guard and other security agencies are maintaining high vigil in maritime and coastal areas since last couple of months due to several inputs on threat from the sea".
The rest of the statement said, as per intelligence inputs received on 31st December, a fishing boat from KetiBunder near Karachi was planning some illicit transaction in Arabian Sea. Based on the input, Coast Guard Dornier aircraft undertook sea air coordinated search and located the suspect fishing boat.
The Coast Guard ship on patrol in the area was diverted and intercepted the unlit boat at about midnight of 31st December 365 km West-South West of Porbandar. 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 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. 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 occupants set fire to their boat as the Indian ships fired warning shots and went near the boat which then disintegrated. The occupants could not be located in the darkness.