Sub-Lieutenant Arun Kumar, 27, a trainee officer of the Navy, reportedly shot himself dead at the Navy’s missile and gunnery school, INS Dronacharya, at Fort Kochi on Sunday.
A Defence press release said the officer “expired of a self-inflicted bullet injury at about 10.20 am today [Sunday].”
Arun Kumar, of Balajinagar at New Perungalathur in Chennai, was on the QRT (quick reaction team) duty when he is said to have fired at himself using a service pistol.
Navy orders board of inquiry
The Navy has ordered a board of inquiry into the incident. The trainee officer, who was undergoing the sub-lieutenants’ course, had been with INS Dronacharya since August-end.
The Fort Kochi police, which have registered a case of unnatural death and launched an investigation, shifted the body to the Government Medical College Hospital in Alappuzha for a post-mortem examination to be held on Monday. Fingerprint experts and forensic officials gathered evidence from the scene.
Arun Kumar joined the Navy as a sailor in 2003, but was awarded commission in January 2012 after being rated outstanding. Rising from the ranks, he bagged the coveted President’s Gold Medal for standing overall first in the order of merit in the 82nd Naval Academy Course on passing out from the portals of the Indian Naval Academy, Ezhimala, last year.
Arun Kumar’s family members are slated to arrive in Kochi late on Sunday night.
The incident has brought back memories of the killing of Rear Admiral S.S. Jamwal, then Chief of Staff of the Southern Naval Command, in a firing accident at INS Dronacharya in 2010.