INDIA. Mumbai: The Indian Navy paid a unique tribute in eternal gratitude to the ultimate sacrifice of the frigate “INS Khukri” and her brave crew by laying wreaths underwater at the final resting place of the ship that was lost in the 1971 war, about 100 nautical miles off Diu Island, on Saturday.
Named after the curved battle dagger of the indomitable Gorkhas, the “INS Khukri” was a frigate of the Indian Navy.
During the Indo-Pak War in 1971, she fell prey to three torpedoes fired by a Pakistan submarine on December 9, 1971, and sank 40 nautical miles off the coast of Diu, taking down with her a crew of 18 officers and 176 sailors, including the commanding officer, Captain Mahendra Nath Mulla, who stayed courageously on the bridge as the ship went down.
The heroic act of Captain Mulla and his valiant crew is a shining example of unyielding spirit and indomitable courage, glorifying the heist traditions of the Indian Navy.
The gallant captain was later awarded the Mahavir Chakra posthumously. The ship and her fearless crew now lie at a depth of approximately 80 metres, about 100 nautical miles off Diu.
On February 11, the Indian Navy paid them touching homage through a poignant reunion as deep sea divers of the Diving Support Ship, “INS Nireekshak,” placed three wreaths on the “Khukri,” one on behalf of the survivors and families of those lost, the second on behalf of all ranks of the Indian Navy, and the third on behalf of the Operational Commander, the Commander-in-Chief of the Western Naval Command.
The “INS Khukri” Memorial was inaugurated on December 15, 1999, and is found erected on the hillock at Chakratirth beach.
It is a replica of the “INS Khukri.” An official statement read that the ship continues to live and will forever inspire a grateful nation and her armed forces.