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Antony pulls up Navy on INS Sindhurakshak sinking

NEW DELHI (PTI): Pulling up the Navy on the sinking of INS Sindhurakshak submarine in which 18 personnel lost their lives, Defence Minister A K Antony on Wednesday asked the force "not to fritter away" such expensive national resources.

Against the backdrop of incidents where some naval officers have been allegedly involved in illicit scandals, the Defence Minister said, "There have been some isolated cases which have proved to be a cause for serious concern and embarrassment.

"It is imperative to pay utmost attention to such instances and make earnest efforts to minimise, if not eliminate them," he said at the Naval Commanders' Conference.

On the INS Sindhurakshak incident, Antony said there was a need to "seriously reflect upon the unprecedented tragedy, analyse it and also draw lessons for future even as attempts to salvage the submarine and an inquiry to ascertain the possible cause of the accident is already under way."

Antony said, "It must be ensured that safety mechanisms are accorded top-most priority and Standard Operating Procedures adhered to strictly and without any exception."

The Defence Minister observed that a significant amount of national resources are utilised for nation building capabilities and "it is the responsibility of the Navy to optimally operate and maintain these assets and hardware, as well as train its personnel suitably so that such national resources are optimally utilised and are not frittered away."

The Sindhurakshak had sunk on August 14 with 18 personnel on board and a Board of Inquiry is still on to find out the exact causes behind the accident.

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