New Delhi: A board of inquiry has indicted senior Coast Guard official BK Loshali for speaking publicly about ordering the destruction of a Pakistani boat off the coast of Gujarat on December 31 last year.

Loshali, a deputy inspector general in the force, was filmed at an official function on February 16 saying that he directed officials to "blow" up the boat. Authorities had said the boat blew up after its Pakistani crew set it on fire and Loshali's remarks caused embarrassment to the government.

The board of inquiry had found "substance to believe" that Loshali made the remarks at the function to mark the launch of a new interceptor boat, The Indian Express quoted its sources as saying on Friday.

The report of the board of inquiry, including statements of witnesses, commanding officers in the Coast Guard who were part of the operation against the Pakistani boat and Loshali, was submitted to the agency's headquarters in New Delhi last week.

The headquarters will now decide on the action to be taken against Loshali, including the possibility of court martial, the sources said.

Loshali was transferred from the post of Chief of Staff of the north west region command after his controversial remarks and is currently based in the Coast Guard's regional headquarters at Gandhinagar.

The board of inquiry found that the video submitted to it had been edited. It then procured the original footage from the organizers of the function, which showed that Loshali "did make the comments", the sources said.

Loshali was asked to submit his version and witnesses present at the function too confirmed Loshali's comments and authenticated the video, the sources added.

The board of inquiry had been asked to probe the episode, starting from the night when the Pakistani boat "set itself ablaze" to the function where Loshali made the remarks.

While addressing the function, Loshali had said: "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."

Courtesy Hindustan Times