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Men in boat were suspected terrorists

By The Assam Tribune
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NEW DELHI, Jan 5 � Amid questions over the �boat� operation, Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar today said �circumstantial evidence� indicated that the occupants of the vessel were �suspected or possible terrorists� and that they were in touch with Pakistani maritime officials and army, reports PTI.

He dismissed the contention that the four people on board the boat, which �exploded� and sank in the Arabian Sea in the intervening night of December 31 and January 1 during an Indian Coast Guard operation, were smugglers.

The Minister underlined that the suicidal act of setting the boat on fire by the men on board the boat showed that they were �committed� and indicated a suspected terror link.

He told reporters here that he would classify the occupants of the boat 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�, he added.

Replying to questions by reporters about veracity of this assessment, Parrikar said, �...Circumstantial evidence indicates what I am saying.�

His remarks came as questions were being raised on the veracity of claims that a 2008 Mumbai attack-style operation had been foiled. There are also reports claiming that the boat was involved in smuggling.

The boat was neither in a fishing area nor on any busy route preferred by smugglers to sneak in, Parrikar said, adding that their actions indicate that they were there for �some other kind of activity�. At the same time, he said, �We are not sure what is that other kind�.

He said intercepted satellite communication showed they were interacting about passing of cargo and talking about families of some of the boat members.

�Smugglers don�t keep in touch with Pakistani maritime agency, or their army or international contacts,� he said.

�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�.

The Defence Minister said the actions of the boat men backs what he has said.

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Men in boat were suspected terrorists

NEW DELHI, Jan 5 � Amid questions over the �boat� operation, Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar today said �circumstantial evidence� indicated that the occupants of the vessel were �suspected or possible terrorists� and that they were in touch with Pakistani maritime officials and army, reports PTI.

He dismissed the contention that the four people on board the boat, which �exploded� and sank in the Arabian Sea in the intervening night of December 31 and January 1 during an Indian Coast Guard operation, were smugglers.

The Minister underlined that the suicidal act of setting the boat on fire by the men on board the boat showed that they were �committed� and indicated a suspected terror link.

He told reporters here that he would classify the occupants of the boat 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�, he added.

Replying to questions by reporters about veracity of this assessment, Parrikar said, �...Circumstantial evidence indicates what I am saying.�

His remarks came as questions were being raised on the veracity of claims that a 2008 Mumbai attack-style operation had been foiled. There are also reports claiming that the boat was involved in smuggling.

The boat was neither in a fishing area nor on any busy route preferred by smugglers to sneak in, Parrikar said, adding that their actions indicate that they were there for �some other kind of activity�. At the same time, he said, �We are not sure what is that other kind�.

He said intercepted satellite communication showed they were interacting about passing of cargo and talking about families of some of the boat members.

�Smugglers don�t keep in touch with Pakistani maritime agency, or their army or international contacts,� he said.

�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�.

The Defence Minister said the actions of the boat men backs what he has said.