Home Indian Navy INS Sumitra: A Ray of Hope

INS Sumitra: A Ray of Hope

by ila_thesquadron
0 comment

INS Sumitra: A Ray of Hope

-Commodore Milind Mohan Mokashi,

CO, Shaurya Chakra, Year:2015

Source: Bharatpedia.org.in


“This Is India’s Honour. We Can Not Fail”

[Narrator 1]

Everywhere you gaze, you will see the color blue. It could be a metaphor or amusement to know that color of the sky is also blue and the color of the water is also blue. Nobody has thought that in the world of blur or water someone could pose a threat to America’s Ship. On 12 October 2000, Ship of America was attacked by pirates or terrorists near the Post of Aden, Yemen. Nobody had imagined, America will be suffered from the loss of 17 and 37 injured American Navy Personnel. This would have been remembered if America hadn’t a setback of 9/11 in 2001. It has changed the vision of everyone that in international waters there can be a looming danger.

Despite these challenges, India has its tales to tell their people, where our very own country has given a ray of hope of being the true savior or Messiah not to his people but the other people of another country as well. This is the story of an Indian Commodore and his ship INS Sumitra who had saved the lives of 1621 people from the conflict area of Yemen. A Commodore who was later awarded the Shaurya Chakra third highest gallantry award.

[Narrator 2]

Location: Gulf of Arabia

Date: March 2015

This is the time there was a war going on between Saudi Arabia and Yemen. Newly inducted INS Sumitra with his Commodore and 150 Navy Sailors were sailing through the Gulf of Arabia and moving towards the Port of Aden. It was deployed for the anti-piracy mission in this area when Commodore Milind Mohan Mokashi got to know about the war of Yemen and Saudi Arabia. They have decided to save the citizen of their own countries from a war zone. It was a matter of pride and respect to prove that they are the protector of their people.

After getting the orders from HQ on 31st March 2015, He and his XO started planning and preparing for the evacuation plan. Cabins were emptied by the navy personnel for the citizens and it was decided that food was first to be given to civilians and after that, they would eat as the ration was limited. A separate cabin was made for the medical treatment of the people who have medical people.

[Narrator 1]

Commodore deployed a team of 8 Marcos on a boat to sanitize the threat of the suspicious boat or for anti-terrorist activities. Navy personnel with a weapon had been ordered to be alert to tackle the terrorist attack. On the afternoon of 31st March 2015, INS Sumitra was just 50 km away from the Port of Aden. They could see the devastation that was happening there. The Port was already closed by Saudi Arabia and controlling the space area of the port and INS Sumitra was just 22 km away from the port. Commodore was waiting for permission from Saudi Arabia. However, Permission from Saudi was not possible and diplomats of India in Yemen were not present at the port.

However, an Indian citizen was working as a school principal who has accepted the post of the honorary council of India. Commodore contacted the principal about the situation and told him that ship was moving toward the port and it will be difficult to use boats after 5:30 pm. Permission was not granted and the night was fallen. Commodore decided to move forward and with his troops. Marcos has docked their boat at the port and they informed the commodore that they need to evacuate the civilians as soon as possible.

[Narrator 2]

INS Sumitra was 6 km away from the port when Commodore receives the information that 350 Indian citizens had been hiding in a container and its way beyond the capability of INS Sumitra. At 7;45 p.m., INS Sumitra docked at port. Seeing the warship of India at port Yemen authority person came ahead and talked with Commodore.

Yemen Personnel ordered, “They have to board every Citizen in next 45 minutes at leave from here”.

They had 45 minutes to let the 350 people board and then leave the port. A major problem was the threat of terrorists going on board would destroy the ship. Meanwhile, Commodore received the call from the Navy HQ to leave the port with Indian citizens as soon as possible. Commodore was confident and firm to evacuate his people and instructed the naval personnel to handle them with care.

Commodore instructed, “They have to leave their business, jobs, and everything. Every naval personnel should behave politely, nobody will scream, shout and get angry at them. Some of them our children and old people. Treat them as their family members who are facing this problem”.

After completing the instruction Commodore shouts with a cry, “Gentlemen Let’s Bring Our People Home”.

After filling the navy personnel with courage, the process of boarding the people started. After scanning the luggage, it had been kept at one place of the ship. Every Photo is clicked and checking had been done. Two old women had been selected to check the women for security as there are no women in the navy warship.

[Narrator 1]

There were two layers of safeguarding INS Sumitra. The outer layer was protected by the team of 8 Marcos whose task was to neutralize the vessel or boat that is a threat to INS Sumitra. The inner layer would be guarded and eyes were kept by the QRT team of Weapon laced Navy Officers.

Doctors present at the Warship started checking the people with a disease like diabetes, heart or who need medical attention. People had been provided with food, water, and drink. The kitchen of the warship has to provide food for 500 people. So, they decided that the first civilian will be provided with the food and after that, navy personnel would eat food. Nobody would touch the food before every people of India had finished their food. Also, the cabins were already vacated by non-commissioned or commissioned officers for the people of India.

After the boarding of the last passenger, Marcos and the QRT team boards INS Sumitra and Our Ray of Hope INS Sumitra start moving from Port of Aden. It sailed throughout the night to move out of the war zone. People of India slept peacefully in INS Sumitra after so many days.

 On 1 April 2015 at 7:00 a.m., INS Sumitra reached Djibouti, the Horn of Africa, Gulf of Arabia where Foreign Minister of India, General V.K. Singh (Rtd.) was waiting to welcome the People of India. This information to evacuate the People of India had been spread all over the world through media. Photos of the naval personnel were shared over social media.

[Narrator 2]

Location: Djibouti

Time: Noon, 1 April 2015

INS Sumitra was prepared to restock, Crew had merely relaxed for 2-3 hours that they received an order to rescue the People of India from another port city of Yemen Al Hudaydah, it was already been bombarded by Saudi Arabia where the people of India were working in the dairy factory. Commodore Mokashi Sailed to Al Hudaydah.

It was difficult to reach this port as it was instructed to stay and leave the port from morning to evening. Also, Commodore doesn’t have the navigational map for this port to reach. They only just have the order to evacuate the People of India. They didn’t know that this port has been captured by the rebels of Houthi. On 2 April 2015, INS Sumitra reached this port.

The team of Marcos was the first to dock at this port and cordon the area for security purposes. INS Sumitra docked at the port which was the most dangerous place at that time. Rebels of Houthi started coming towards the warship of India. The Marcos and Navy Personnel got alerted by them. Commodore instructed his men to let their gun down and boarded out the warship and started moving towards them.

Commodore politely told them, “We don’t have anything to do with their internal matter. We had come to evacuate the People of India. I promise we won’t interfere in their internal matter.” He further sternly told them, “If they lay a single finger or a single scratch has been done by you. I promise! Not Yemen even Houthi name will be wiped out from the World”.

Rebel of Houthi was stunned by the declaration of Indian Commodore and discuss with each other and informed, “You had 4 hours to evacuate from this place. We don’t want to see you and your face after 4 hours”.

After this Rebel of Houthi left from there and Commodore ordered to start the process of screening and boarding of the People of India. It took more than 4 hours to board all the people of India and night had already fallen. After the boarding of the last person. INS Sumitra started sailing from Al Hudydah. Commodore instructed the XO to increase the speed up to 25 knots that are 46 km/hour to leave this port as soon as possible. People started helping the crew and children were playing seeing the ship sailing for the first time.

On the night of 3 April 2015, INS Sumitra with 317 People of India reached Djibouti, Horn of Africa, Gulf of War. 

[Narrator 1]

After this INS Sumitra was instructed to evacuate the People of India from Ash Shishr where thousands of Indian citizens work for the Petro Masil Oil Terminal. Al Mukala was captured by the terrorist group Al Qaeda and it was 60 km away from the Ash Shishir. Maps and satellite images of Ash Shishir had been shared by the Navy HQ of Delhi. INS Sumitra reached Ash Shishir on 5 April 2015, there was no aircraft facility and no area for the dock. Commodore decided to dock the INS Sumitra near the port and people would board through boats. It was very dangerous to board people with boats due to security reasons and anything could be done.

Marcos team cordon area and QRT team of Navy hold their position to safeguard the people of India throughout the process of evacuation. The goodwill of India to evacuate the people has been vastly spread and INS Sumitra had been instructed to evacuate the people of Western Country or other countries as well. This also means a more looming danger for the evacuation process. The team of Marcos got aware of the boats which were unidentifiable whether they are civilians, fishermen, or terrorists.

The Team Leader of Marcos told his team to be prepared for the action. They hold the rifles towards their boats. In a few hours, the most dangerous rescue mission had been put in action Indian Navy Officers let the 203 people board INS Sumitra by using 2 boats. During the evacuation process Team of Marcos and QRT didn’t let the finger slide down from the trigger to safeguard the civilians. Seeing the mighty power of the Indian Navy, unidentified boats try to come close but stopped in mid. After completing the boarding, process, INS Sumitra sailed through the ocean to their safe destination. On 7 April 2015, INS Sumitra reached Djibouti, the Horn of Africa, Gulf of Africa where INS Sumitra was welcomed by its friends INS Tarksah and INS Mumbai had been reached there to assist its friend INS Sumitra.

[Narrator 2]

After so many days the crew of INS Sumitra had got the opportunity to relax. They got in touch with their family members and let them know that they do not have to worry about the danger looming over them. They would come back soon. On 9 April 2015, under the leadership of Commodore Mokashi INS Sumitra evacuates 349 civilians and on 15 April 2015, 403 civilians had been evacuated. 

During this period INS Sumitra had successfully evacuated 1621 civilians from which some of them belong to the 26 different nations. It was an irony for the people of Pakistan that they were also rescued by us without any sentiment of hatred. Commodore was not aware of the elderly citizen of Pakistan until they introduced themselves to him to thank him. He politely informed me that he was doing his job.

On Independence Day 2015, Commodore Mokashi was awarded the Shaurya Chakra for unparalleled valor, conspicuous gallantry, bold and daring decisive actions beyond the call of duty. Also, INS Sumitra became the Presidential Yacht during the International Fleet Review and received a unit citation in 2016.

It’s a beautiful narrative that people forget over and over, but Soldiers like Captain Mokashi always set an example and give assurance that they are always standing before us to face the adversary. We should be always thankful for their services. We truly are indebted and fill us with pride.

When I read this story in a book. I was overwhelmed. Now I am awestruck to relive this moment again by expressing my views on it.

It was rightly said by Captain Mokashi during the Rescue Mission, “This Is India’s Honour. We Can Not Fail”.

Source and credit of this content are given below-

How Indian Commander & His Warship Rescued Thousands of Civilians Abroad | India’s Bravest S2E2 – YouTube

Do buy this book from below given link-

INDIA’S MOST FEARLESS: True Stories of Modern Military Heroes eBook: Aroor, Shiv, Singh, Rahul: Amazon.in: Kindle Store

You may also like

Leave a Comment

The Squadron

World New | India News | Entertainment | Lifestyle | Sports | Opinion


Subscribe my Newsletter for new blog posts, tips & new photos. Let's stay updated!

@2021 – White SEO LAB

This website uses cookies to improve your experience. We'll assume you're ok with this, but you can opt-out if you wish. Accept Read More