New Delhi: Coast Guard DIG B K Loshali, who had contradicted government's version of events in connection with the interception of a Pakistani boat in January, will face court martial proceedings from September after being indicted by a Board of Inquiry.
The BoI was instituted in February after Coast Guard found "unsatisfactory" Loshali's reply to the showcause notice issued to him over remarks that he had ordered the Pakistani boat to be blown up off the Porbandar coast.
The Board had submitted its report to the Coast Guard headquarters in late April after which it was studied at various levels.
"The BOI had called for strict action. The General Court Martial Proceedings against DIG B K Loshali will start in September," a defence source said.
Asked about the content of the report, sources said unedited video showed that Loshali did make the assertion that he had ordered the boat to be blown up, contrary to the denial he made later.
They added "suitable action will be taken" and that he will face strict action.
Loshali had contradicted the government's claim that the crew of the intruding Pakistani boat had themselves set the vessel ablaze, leading to an explosion that caused the vessel to sink.
Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar and the Coast Guard have consistently maintained that the occupants of the boat had "self-destructed" after being chased by Coast Guard ships on the intervening night of December 31 and January 1.
Notwithstanding Loshali's claims, Parrikar had said his ministry stood by its version and even hinted at disciplinary action against him.
"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 had bragged in the video before backtracking and claiming that he was misquoted.
He was removed as the Chief of Staff in Northwest region and attached to Coast Guard's zonal headquarters after the Board of Inquiry was constituted.