Gujarat police give clean chit to Kuber boat owner

December 3rd, 2008 - 5:53 pm ICT by IANS  

Mumbai, Dec 3 (IANS) Police in Gujarat Wednesday gave a clean chit to the owner of the fishing vessel Kuber that had been hijacked by terrorists to reach close to the Mumbai coast. “We have carried out the investigations here. There’s nothing to link the owner, Vinod Masani and his family members, in any manner whatsoever with the terrorists so far,” Porbander Superintendent of Police D. Trivedi told IANS over phone.

Kuber had been hijacked in the mid seas off Gujarat last week. It was abandoned around four nautical miles off the sea at Cuffe Parade in south Mumbai.

“While we have confirmation of one fisherman Amarsinh Tandel, being killed, we await the details of the remaining missing,” Trivedi said.

The boat, Kuber PBR-2302, was found abandoned by the Coast Guard last Thursday, when the terror attack was in full swing in south Mumbai. One body was found in the boat, fitted with a powerful engine, and sophisticated communication and navigation equipment, including a radio frequency communicator and a GPS wireless modem.

The Masanis — Vinod and his brothers — used to rent it out to a group of five fishermen from Porbander who would take it to the high seas on 10-day fishing trips. The group comprised Amarsinh Tandel (whose body was found), Ramesh Nanji, Parbat Prabhu, Mukesh Bandhu and Nattu Nanu.

This time, all communication links had snapped and there was no word from the fishing crew. Finally, the Masanis learnt that their boat had been hijacked and used by the terrorists who went on to attack 10 landmark targets in Mumbai, including the Taj hotel opposite the Gateway of India jetty and the Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus.

The attack that started Wednesday night ended Saturday morning and killed at least 183 people besides injuring about 300.

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