Service No: 52360-Z
Birth place: Najafgarh, New Delhi
Last Rank: Lt Cdr
Unit: INS Sindhuratna
Awards: Shaurya Chakra
Operation : CI & IS Ops
Date of Martyrdom : Feb 26, 2014
Lt Cdr Kapish Singh Muwal hailed from Najafgarh in South-West Delhi. Son of an Indian Navy veteran Cdr Ishwar Singh and Smt. Dayawati Singh, Lt Cdr Kapish Singh was brilliant in academics and had scored 95 percent in his CBSE 12th standard exams. Later he studied Physics (Honours) for six months in St. Stephens College but quit the course midway to pursue his dream. Right from his childhood, Lt Cdr Kapish Singh wanted to serve in the armed forces like his father. So when he got selected to join the Navy during his 1st year in college, he decided to join the Navy. He excelled during his training too and was adjudged the best cadet at the Naval Academy, getting the Sword of Honour by the Chief of Navy Staff at his passing out parade.
Lt Cdr Kapish Singh later got trained as a submariner and was posted to serve with Kilo-class submarine INS Sindhuratna. He also had been selected to undergo an M.Tech course in IIT Mumbai, which he was slated to join in later part of 2014.
INS Sindhuratna: 26th February 2014
During 2014, Lt Cdr Kapish Singh was serving aboard the submarine INS Sindhuratna. He joined INS Sindhuratna in Aug 11 and was appointed as the Deputy Electrical Officer and Oi/c Vth Compartment. The Kilo-class submarine was commissioned into the Indian Navy in Dec 1988 and had thereafter participated in various naval operations. While Kilo-class submarines like INS Sindhuratna had an average life of 30 years, the Navy had carried out several refits to increase the aging vessel’s life. INS Sindhuratna had undergone the last refit between May-2013 to Dec-2013. On 25 Feb 2014, with a crew of 94 personnel embarked onboard, INS Sindhuratna sailed for sea examination post completion of refit.
During the early hours of 26 Feb at about 0530 hrs, when INS Sindhuratna was 80 kms off Mumbai coast, excessive build-up of smoke was reported in the IIIrd compartment which also housed one-half of the submarine’s main batteries. Lt Cdr Kapish Singh with his colleague, Lt Cdr Manoranjan Kumar who was functioning as Officer-in-charge (IIIrd compartment) immediately assessed the situation and swung into action. They mobilized all available personnel and damage control assets to take all possible measures in dealing with the emergency. As the ambient temperature in the compartment increased due to heat and as the visibility reduced, both officers, unmindful of their personal safety continued to fight the emergency. At one stage,when they realized that conditions for human survival in the vicinity of damage had deteriorated, they immediately ordered the evacuation of the damage control team comprising 13 personnel to safer areas thus drastically reducing the number of casualties.
Lt Cdr Kapish Singh along with his colleague not only did the fire-fighting but also provided extremely vital inputs to the Command Post on the status of damage control and further likely implications. This action limited the damaged area preventing the spread of fire to the battery compartment, thus obviating an extremely dangerous possibility of damage to the entire submarine. Even when the breathing had become extremely difficult, both officers continued pushing the crew to safety and fought the emergency undeterred. Their exemplary effort to douse the smoke in extremely hazardous conditions were beyond the call of duty, which ensured the survival of 94 crew members and the safety of submarine. However, while saving their comrades, Lt Cdr Kapish Singh and Lt Cdr Manoranjan Kumar got exposed to toxic gases for a prolonged period which proved fatal for them. During this operation, Lt Cdr Kapish Singh led from the front in the highest traditions of the Indian Navy and was martyred. Lt Cdr Kapish Singh was a committed soldier and a fine officer who laid down his life in the line of his duty. He was given the gallantry award “Shaurya Chakra” for his extraordinary courage, camaraderie, devotion to duty and supreme sacrifice.
Lt Cdr Kapish Singh Muwal is survived by his father Cdr Ishwar Singh (retd), mother Smt. Dayawati Singh and brother Shri Ashish Singh.
The citation for the Shaurya Chakra (Posthumous) awarded to him reads:
1. Lt Cdr Kapish Singh Muwal (52360 Z) joined INS Sindhuratna in Aug 11 and was appointed as the Deputy Electrical Officer and Oi/c Vth Compartment at the time of the incident.
2. The submarine sailed on 25 Feb 14 with a crew of 94 personnel embarked onboard for sea examination post refit. Lt Cdr Kapish Singh Muwal was at his post in the Vth compartment when excessive smoke was reported in the IIIrd compartment. On hearing the emergency, he immediately rushed to scene of damage in the IIIrd compartment and being the senior-most officer present took charge of the fire-fighting team and all available assets. As the Deputy Electrical Officer, he had in-depth knowledge of the battery compartment and could appreciate the likely damage an increasing fire could cause to the battery compartment below and therefore to the submarine. As the smoke and heat kept increasing, the officer, with unparalleled determination and resolve, continued his efforts to douse the fire/smoke while evacuating his team of 13 personnel’s to safety with the aim of saving as many lives as possible. The officer was last seen fighting to contain the extent of damage, even while the compartment was being evacuated. His singular act of preventing the damage from spreading to the battery compartment below prevented massive structural damage to the entire submarine and survival of the crew comprising of 94 personnel embarked on the submarine. Survivors have corroborated that the officer’s bravery in the face of danger was characterized by sacrifice, selflessness and courage of the highest order, which ensured safety of the entire submarine.
3. The officer sacrificed his life keeping the safety of the submarine and personnel above his own. His act of courage and bravery was beyond the call of duty and thus in keeping with the highest traditions of the Indian Navy and the time-honored military adage ‘Service before Self’. Lt Cdr Kapish Singh Muwal (52360-Z) is therefore strongly recommended for the award of Shaurya Chakra (Posthumous).