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7 officers indicted for culpable of omission in INS Sindhuratna mishap

INS-SindhuratnaSeven naval officers were found guilty following a probe into the fire that occurred on board submarine INS Sindhuratna earlier this year, which left two personnel dead.

Disciplinary action against these officers has been initiated at the Western Naval Command headquarters, Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar said in a written reply to Rajya Sabha.

“The BOI report in case of INS Sindhuratna has found seven officers culpable of various acts of omission and commission,” he said.

In February this year INS Sindhurakshak was hit by tragedy when smoke engulfed Russian-made submarine off the Mumbai coast when it was at sea off Mumbai for routine training and inspection, causing serious illness to seven sailors and leaving two officers dead.

Taking moral responsibility for the incident the Chief of Naval Staff Admiral DK Joshi had resigned from the post of Navy Chief.

It was the first time in the last 15 years that a chief of Navy had to leave office in controversial circumstances. In 1998, Admiral Vishnu Bhagwat was sacked by the NDA government. George Fernandes was the Defence Minister then.

Earlier, another Naval vessel, INS Sindhurakshak had sunk in August, 2013 in which all 18 personnel on board were killed.

INS Sindhurakshak was the second biggest tragedy after the sinking of INS Khukri on the fateful night of December 9, 1971. It sank 40 nautical miles off the coast of Diu after being torpedoed by Pakistani submarine PNS Hangor. The ill-fated ship had 18 officers and 176 sailors on board.

Though INS Khukri was lost in war, INS Sindhurakshak, a frontline submarine, sunk at the naval dockyard in Mumbai on August 14 last year after it was hit by a series of explosions and subsequent fire.

Parrikar said that the examination of the BOI in the Sindhurakshak case was not yet completed. The BOI report is still with the Naval headquarters, he added.

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