Indian soldiers reported to storm boat for second time

Screen grab from video footage of Indian Coast Guard boarding Maldivian fishing boats on January 31, 2024.

A Maldivian fishing boat has reported that it was stopped and searched by Indian soldiers for a second time, while fishing inside the country’s territorial waters.

An official from the Bodu Kanneli Masveringe Union (BKMU) told Sun that Indian soldiers stormed Maahoara-3 – a boat from HA. Ihavandhoo – at midnight on Thursday.

According to the union, the sailors on the boat reported that the soldiers threatened them.

The Maldives National Defense Force (MNDF) said they would issue a statement regarding the incident, later.

Maahoara-3 was one of three fishing boats that was stopped and searched by armed officers from the Indian Coast Guard on Wednesday.

The other two boats were identified as Neru-7 and Asurumaa-3 - a yellowfin tuna fishing boat from ADh. Mahibadhoo. According to the sailors, the soldiers demanded the boats’ satellite phone numbers.

BKMU said the soldiers who stormed Maaboara-3 again on Thursday also demanded the boat’s satellite phone number.

The union said the soldiers who stormed the boat on Thursday were from a different ship.

“They said it was a different ship. It wasn’t the same soldiers,” said the union.

It has shared video footage of Wednesday’s incident.

On Friday, the MNDF confirmed that the three boats had been inside Maldives’ maritime boundary when it was boarded.

The military said it was able to establish that the boats were stormed by boarding teams from India Coast Guard Ship 246 and India Coast Guard Ship 253.

The MNDF said the operation was conducted without coordination with Maldivian authorities and in violation of international maritime laws and regulations.

Maldives has demanded India for an explanation regarding the incident.