Memorial for divers inaugurated

REMEMBERING MARTYRS:Vice-Admiral K.N. Sushil, Flag Officer Commanding-in-Chief, Southern Naval Command, near the ‘Jalveer Smriti' at the Naval Base in Kochi on Tuesday.—   | Photo Credit: Photo: Special Arrangement

Staff Reporter

Kochi: ‘Jalveer Smriti', a memorial dedicated to the underwater warriors of the Navy who achieved martyrdom, was inaugurated by Vice-Admiral K. N. Sushil, Flag Officer Commanding-in-Chief of the Southern Naval Command here on Tuesday.

The event was conceived and conducted by the Indian Naval Diving School based at Kochi, the alma mater of all special operations personnel of the Navy.

The memorial depicts a naval combat diver emerging from the waves to launch a clandestine attack on the enemy. Verses from the Bhagavad Gita calling upon the warrior to respond to his call of duty as defender and protector of the morally right have also been engraved on the plaque.

It was conceptualised by Commander A. K. Sharma and Lieutenant Commander O. P. Singh of the Diving School as a tribute to the diving legends of the Navy, the most recent example being that of Chandrashekhar, a Petty Officer of the diving cadre who sacrificed his life in Jammu and Kashmir in September 2009 in a combat with anti-national forces. The ‘Jalveer Smriti' is also envisioned to inspire the young officers and sailors of the Navy who are trained at the Southern Naval Command.

The diving cadre of the Navy prides itself in being the most decorated cadre with the highest number of Gallantry Awards. The naval divers are employed in both offensive and defensive roles, including combat amphibious operations, salvage and submarine rescue operations, underwater explosive ordinance disposal and providing aid to civil authorities during floods or accidents in water bodies and underwater surveys. The elite and only amphibious special force in the country— the marine commandos or MARCOS—is an integral part of this cadre.