Pakistan bound arms-loaded vessel arrested in India

By Salah Uddin Shoaib Choudhury
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A Liberian flag carrier cargo ship with heavy consignment of arms and explosives has been arrested near Diamond Harbor, near Kolkata in India. Karachi-bound cargo vessel from Bangladesh with military hardware and explosives was detained on Friday by the police.

The Liberian registered ship, S G Zyat, had set sail from Chittagong in Bangladesh and had anti-aircraft guns and rocket launchers, besides a huge quantity of ammunition and smoke bombs in two large containers on board.

"It is a consignment of heavy military supplies meant for a consignee in Karachi. Five tons of explosives, a huge quantity of arms and ammunition were found after the police detained the vessel," Director General of Police Bhupinder Singh said.

Inspector General of Police [Law and Order] S Karpurakayastha said "the ship was detained on an intelligence tip-off and was carrying anti-aircraft guns and rocket launchers, ammunition and smoke bombs. It had set sail from Chittagong in Bangladesh and had anti-aircraft guns, rocket launchers, five ton of explosives, besides a huge quantity of ammunition and smoke bombs in two large containers on board.

Meanwhile another source rejecting the claim of Indian authorities said, the vessel was carrying hundreds of tonnes of military hardware and explosives belonging to personnel of the Nepal Police and the Pakistan Army, who had already returned from peacekeeping assignments in Liberia.

Though a section of over-enthusiastic officials with Indian police and customs tried to paint the entire matter as “arms-haul”, it emerged that the cargo vessel registered in St Vincent set sail from Monrovia in Liberia and stopped at Chittagong in Bangladesh, where arms belonging to the Bangladesh Army was offloaded. Bangladeshi soldiers were also serving in the trouble torn West African nation.

The ship was supposed to offload the arms of the Nepal Police in Kolkata before sailing for Karachi with military hardware of the Pakistan Army.

Meanwhile, Bangladesh has rejected media reports of a weapon-laden ship bound for Pakistan from its Chittagong port, saying the vessel was carrying military supplies of Pakistani and Nepalese peacekeepers deployed on UN mission in Liberia.

A battalion of Bangladeshi blue helmet troops deployed in Liberia returned home on completion of their mission along with some military equipment onboard MV Aegean Glory which reached the south-eastern Chittagong Port on June 15, the Bangladesh Army said.

"The ship was also carrying military hardware of Pakistani and Nepalese contingents" in the UN peacekeeping mission, Bangladesh Army said, adding the ship left Chittagong on June 24.

Pakistani authorities have also strongly protested the 'ridiculous' actions of 'Indian authorities' and said, they [India] were trying to create unnecessary hype centering this issue.

Salah Uddin Shoaib Choudhury is the editor of Weekly Blitz, the only anti-Jihadist newspaper in the Muslim world.