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Navy chief D.K. Joshi resigns


New Delhi, Feb 26 :

Indian Navy chief Admiral D.K. Joshi resigned Wednesday taking moral responsibility for a series of accidents that have hit naval vessels over the past few months.

The government accepted his resignation with immediate effect, a defence ministry release said.

Vice Admiral DK Joshi
Vice Admiral DK Joshi

The resignation came on a day when seven Indian Navy personnel were injured and at least two went missing after smoke filled a compartment in the INS Sindhuratna submarine that was underwater off Mumbai, about 50 nautical miles (80 km) in the Arabian Sea.

There were 94 sailors onboard the submarine when smoke was reported in the sailors’ accommodation.

“Taking moral responsibility for the accidents and incidents which have taken place during the past few months, Chief of Naval Staff Admiral D.K. Joshi today (Wednesday) resigned from the post of CNS,” the release said.

It said Vice Chief of Naval Staff Vice Admiral R.K. Dhowan will be discharging the duties of officiating CNS, pending appointment of regular CNS.

The navy has been hit by a spate of accidents over the past seven months causing concern.

The biggest accident involved fire on the INS Sindhurakshak and the subsequent sinking of the submarine in the Mumbai harbour Aug 14 last year, killing all 18 personnel aboard.

Defence Minister A.K. Antony had earlier this month expressed concern over the accidents suffered by the navy over the past few months.

Antony said that even one accident was “serious” for him and there was need to strictly follow standard operating procedures and draw proper lessons.

He also said he cannot give the navy “100 percent satisfaction certificate”.

INS Talwar, a frigate, collided with a fishing vessel last year.

A fire broke out on INS Konkan at the dry dock in Visakhapatnam in December 2013 when it was in the dry dock for maintenance.

And INS Betwa, also a frigate, suffered damage in January.

INS Vindhyagiri, a Nilgiri class frigate, sank after it caught fire when it collided with a merchant vessel near the Mumbai harbour in 2011.