Service No: 52423-T

Birth place: Jamshedpur, Jharkhand

Service: Navy

Last Rank: Lt Cdr

Unit: INS Sindhuratna

Awards: Shaurya Chakra

Date of Martyrdom : Feb 26, 2014

Lt Cdr Manoranjan Kumar SC

Lt Cdr Manoranjan Kumar  hailed from  Jamshedpur of  Jharkhand. Son of an army veteran Naveen Kumar and Smt. Rukmini Devi, Lt Cdr Manoranjan Kumar did his schooling from various places wherever his father was posted. During his school days, he was good in academics and had scored 91 and 89% in class X, XII respectively. Right from his younger days, he wanted to serve the armed forces like his father who served in the army with the Armoured Corps. Consequently, he joined the Indian Navy through the direct technical entry scheme after finishing his high school from Army Public School Bareilley.

 

He then underwent training in electronics engineering in Goa and Lonavala in Maharastra before being commissioned in the navy in 2009. By 2014, he had been promoted to the rank of Lt Cdr and also had been trained as a diver.

 

INS Sindhuratna: 26th February 2014

 

During 2014, Lt Cdr Manoranjan Kumar  was serving aboard the submarine INS Sindhuratna. He joined INS Sindhuratna in Jan 2012 and was appointed as Watch-Keeping Officer (Electrical), Diving Officer and Officer-in-Charge of IIIrd 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 Manoranjan Kumar with his colleague, Lt Cdr Kapish Singh who was functioning as Deputy Electrical Officer 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 Manoranjan 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 Manoranjan Kumar and Lt Cdr Kapish Singh got exposed to toxic gases for a prolonged period which proved fatal for them. During this operation, Lt Cdr Manoranjan Kumar led from the front like a good military leader and was martyred. Lt Cdr Manoranjan Kumar was a valiant  soldier and a gritty officer who laid down his life in the line of his duty. He was given the gallantry award “Shaurya Chakra” for his exceptional courage, camaraderie, devotion to duty and supreme sacrifice.

 

Lt Cdr Manoranjan Kumar  is survived by his father an army veteran Naveen Kumar and mother Smt. Rukimni Devi.

 

The citation for the Shaurya Chakra (Posthumous) awarded to him reads:

 

1. Lt Cdr Manoranjan Kumar (52423 T) joined INS Sindhuratna in Jan 12. He was appointed as Watch-Keeping Officer (Electrical), Diving Officer and Officer-in-Charge of IIIrd compartment.

 

2. The submarine sailed on 25 Feb 14 with a crew of 94 personnel embarked onboard for sea examination post completion of refit. During the early hours of 26 Feb at about 0-530 h, excessive build-up of smoke was reported in the IIIrd compartment which also houses one-half of the submarine’s main batteries. Lt Cdr Manoranjan Kumar, in his capacity as the officer-in-charge immediately mobilized all available personnel and damage control assets and commenced valiant effort towards controlling the grave emergency. As the ambient temperature in the compartment increased due to heat and as the visibility reduced, the officer, unmindful of his personal safety continued to fight the emergency. At one stage, he realized that conditions for human survival in the vicinity of damage had deteriorated and he immediately ordered evacuation of his team numbering 13 personnel to safer areas thus drastically reducing the number of casualties. He not only did the fire-fighting himself but also provided extremely vital inputs to the Command Post on the status of damage control and further likely implications. He limited the damage to the localized area preventing the spread to the battery compartment below thus obviating an extremely dangerous possibility of damage to entire submarine. Survivors have corroborated that by this time breathing had become extremely difficult but Lt Cdr Manoranjan continued pushing his crew to safety and fought the emergency undeterred.  He was last seen fighting the fire/smoke, rather than saving himself. His exemplary effort to douse the smoke in extremely hazardous conditions was beyond the call of duty, which ensured survival of 94 crew members and safety of submarine.

 

3. The officer laid down his life keeping with his responsibility as the compartment officer, safety of the submarine and personnel above his own. His singular act of courage and bravery resulted in the damage being contained, casualties being minimized and extensive structural damage to the submarine being averted. His valor and dedication is in keeping with the highest traditions of the Indian Navy and ethos of the officer corp. Lt Cdr Manoranjan Kumar (52423 T) is thus strongly recommended for the award of Shaurya Chakra (Posthumous).

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Source
  • https://www.indiannavy.nic.in/content/gallantry-awards-navy-personnel
  • http://www.thehindu.com/news/national/lt-manoranjan-kumars-body-brought-to-jharkhand/article5740444.ece
  • http://indiatoday.intoday.in/story/ins-sindhuratna-disaster-96-hours-before-death-officer-lieutenant-manoranjan-kumar-said-we-are-sailing-on-a-bomb/1/346510.html
  • https://www.telegraphindia.com/1140228/jsp/frontpage/story_18030053.jsp#.WOSQSPl97IU
  • https://www.indiatoday.in/india/north/story/ins-sindhuratna-disaster-96-hours-before-death-officer-lieutenant-manoranjan-kumar-said-we-are-sailing-on-a-bomb-183427-2014-03-03
  • https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/INS_Sindhuratna_(S59)
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1 Comment
  • Ankit yadav

    2021at8:56 am Reply

    Salute to all such real life heroes….

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