Place of birth : Kanpur Dist (UP)
Last Rank : Lieutenant Commander
Arm/Regt : Indian Navy
Martyrdom : August 14, 2013
Lt Cdr Alok Kumar Sahu hailed from Kanpur in Uttar Pradesh. Son of Shri PL Sahu and Smt Rama, Lt Cdr Sahu had a younger brother Deep Kumar Sahu. Lt Cdr Sahu since his childhood, had always nursed the idea of joining the armed forces and continued to follow his passion while growing up. His inclination for the Armed Forces grew while studying at Sainik School and eventually, he got selected to join NDA. He got commissioned into Indian Navy in the year 2004. After serving for a few years, he then got married to Ms Dimple in the year 2009.
INS Sindhurakshak Accident : 14 August 2013
On 14 Aug 2013, Lt Cdr Alok Kumar was onboard INS Sindhurakshak, the 3000-tonne Kilo-class submarine, powered by a combination of diesel generators and electric batteries. Lt Cdr Alok Kumar had completed about 8 years of service by then and handled signal communications on INS Sindhurakshak. On that day, the submarine at Naval dockyard in Mumbai was rocked by a series of explosions and started sinking along with 18 crew members with 3 officers and 15 sailors. It was an accident in the fully-loaded weapons compartment of INS Sindhurakshak that caused things to spiral out of control with some missile and torpedo warheads exploding in “sympathetic detonation”. The Kilo-class submarine, with a full complement of 18 missiles and torpedoes, was slated to head for “a long deployment patrol” on August 14 itself.
The Navy swung into action to rescue the trapped personnel, however their struggle to save them became harder as the submarine was filled with muddy and murky water and the visibility was extremely poor. Due to water filling, extremely restricted access was available and most of the equipment from their original locations was also displaced. The heat of the explosion had melted parts of the internal hull deforming the submarine hatches and preventing access to the compartments. Eventually after a log struggle, the Naval divers were able to prise open the conning tower, which was fused shut due to the heat of the blast, to enable rescuers to enter. Heavy-duty pumps were used to pump out the water from the submarine, however it took considerable time to locate the crews of the submarine. By 19th August 7 of 18 missing sailors’ bodies were recovered while another 6 were recovered by 31st of August.
Besides Lt Cdr Alok Kumar Sahu, the other martyred brave hearts included Lt Cdr Nikhilesh Pal, Lt Cdr Sanjeev Kumar, Lt Cdr R Venkitaraj, PO UW I KC Upadhyay, PO UW I Timothy Sinha, LS UC I Kewal Singh, SEA I UW III Sunil Kumar, MECH(R) 2 Dasari Prasad, LEMP Liju Lawrence, LME Rajesh Tootika, STD I Amit Singh, SEA I Atul Sharma, SEA I Vikas E, ME I Naruttam Deuri, EMR II Malay Haldar, RO II Vishnu V and LS RP I Seetaram Badapalli. Lt Cdr Alok Kumar Sahu was a committed soldier and fine officer, who laid down his life in the line of his duty.
Lt Cdr Alok Kumar Sahu is survived by his father Shri PL Sahu, mother Smt Rama, wife Smt Dimple Sahu and brother Shri Deep Kumar Sahu.