ISLAMABAD/NEW DELHI - The Indian government was on Wednesday left red-faced after a senior Coast Guard official negated its claim that the crew on an intruding Pakistani boat had set it ablaze, but Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar stood his ground and hinted at disciplinary action against him.

The Indian official’s claim has reignited controversy about the December 31 incident, which killed four Pakistanis and led to a flare-up in tensions between the two neighbours.

India has always maintained that the crew from near the Pakistani port city of Karachi blew up their own boat while trying to escape from the navy - a claim Pakistan rejects.

Reacting quickly, Pakistani Defence Minister Khawaja Asif urged the international community to take notice of India’s violation of the global law.

Footage obtained by the Indian Express newspaper and made available on YouTube showed Coast Guard Deputy Inspector General BK Loshali speaking about the incident at a function on Monday. "I hope you remember 31st December night," he says in halting English after telling the audience he plans to depart from a prepared speech.

"We blew off the Pakistan... I told at night, blow the boat off. We don't want to serve them biryani," Loshali says, referring to a rice dish.

Indian Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar called Loshali's comments "a case of indiscipline" and said the government stood by its earlier statement on the sequence of events.

"We will take action against the person if required... after making a proper inquiry," he said at a press conference on Wednesday.

Acting close on the heels of the defence minister's statement, the Indian Coast Guard issued a show-cause notice to Coast Guard DIG BK Loshali, Chief of Staff (North West Region), asking him for his explanation on his claim that he had ordered blowing up of the boat off the Porbandar coast on the new year eve.

Loshali's version contradicted the claims by the Indian defence minister, ministry and the Coast Guard made immediately after the incident.

On Wednesday, Loshali made a U-turn, claiming he was misquoted by the media. He said his comments were misconstrued and he was not in charge of the operation. "I have not made this statement, however, I had made a statement that anti-national elements do not need to be served biryani," he said in written comments.

However, the Indian Express uploaded the video of Loshali in which he says that he ordered on December 31 night to "blow up that boat".

Joining the controversy, Congress demanded that the government come clean on the issue and warned it against threatening the DIG.

At the time of the incident India said that its Coast Guard ships and aircraft had tried to intercept the boat near the maritime border with Pakistan, around 365 kilometres from the coastal state of Gujarat, following an intelligence tip-off.

It said the crew had tried to escape, leading to a high-speed chase that lasted almost an hour before the boat eventually stopped after warning shots were fired.

The boat then exploded and sank with the apparent loss of all four lives, the Indian defence ministry said at the time, calling the crew "suspected or possible terrorists".

The Coast Guard alleged shortly afterwards that the four crew must have been hiding "something really serious" to have blown themselves up.

Pakistan's Defence Minister Khawaja Asif said Loshali's statement had given the lie to India's official response.

"India has once again proved to be heinous in its face, designs and urging for peace," he said in a statement issued in Islamabad, adding that Indian forces had claimed "four innocent lives".

Asif urged the international community to take notice of blowing up of the Pakistani boat by India on the night of 31st of December last year.

The minister said the admission of the DIG Coast Guard negates earlier claims of the Indian government that the boat blew itself up.

The minister said that it has once again been proved that India has violated the International rules and disregarded the humanitarian considerations. It not only imposed baseless and false allegations on Pakistan before like in the case of Samjjota Express, but was involved in treacherously claiming four innocent lives on board the boat.

He said once again it has been established that India violated international law. The defence minister said Pakistan's desire for peace should not be misconstrued as its weakness.

Pakistani and Indian fishermen are frequently caught in each other's waters and arrested. The border in the Arabian Sea is poorly defined and many fishing boats lack the technology needed to be certain of their precise location.