An image of the boat released by the government. (Press Trust of India)
The Congress has asked the government to "come clean" on the Pakistani boat issue and explain "which terrorist organisation" was behind the episode that unfolded on the high seas.
"Government should come clean on it. There is no evidence. How can you say that a terrorist attack was prevented? How did they (government) come to the conclusion that it was a terrorist boat? It is very strange. Nothing has been explained. Which terrorist organisation was behind it?" party spokesperson Ajoy Kumar said, citing media reports which have questioned the government version about the interception and the subsequent blast on board and sinking of the fishing boat.
In a midnight operation off the coast of Gujarat, a Pakistani fishing boat said to be carrying explosives was intercepted by the Indian Coast Guard before it exploded and caught fire and sunk with four crew members on board.
The incident, which occurred on the intervening night of December 31, 2014, and January 1 some 365-km off the Porbander coast, is being regarded in some quarters as being reminiscent of the 2008 Mumbai terror strike.
However, there has been no official confirmation of that conjecture with the Defence Ministry merely stating that the boat from Keti Bunder near Karachi "was planning some illicit transaction" in the Arabian Sea.
Latching on to the media reports, Congress said they raise "question marks" as to the government theory now that it has
come to the fore that the local police and administration had "no clue" about any Pakistani terrorist boat.
"I do not know. Either it is done to get recognition or keeping in view the Vibrant Gujarat meeting," Kumar said.
The Pravasi Bharatiya Divas and Vibrant Gujarat events, which will be attended by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and several foreign dignitaries, are being organised in Gujarat in the early part of January.
Meanwhile, a search is underway for the wreckage of the mysterious boat - which exploded after being hunted down by the Indian Coast Guard in the Arabian Sea - as also the bodies of its four occupants, which will be crucial for investigators to reach a conclusion about their intent.
Speaking last night, BJP national secretary Shrikant Sharma complimented the security forces for the action and said that the episode constituted "yet another attempt by a frustrated Pakistan in aiding terror activities in India".