Indian rear admiral killed in ‘accidental firing’

Kochi/New Delhi, July 7 (Calcutta Tube) One of the seniormost commanders of the Indian Navy, Rear Admiral S.S. Jamwal, was killed in ‘accidental firing’ Wednesday in a gunnery school close to the headquarters of the Southern Naval Command in Kerala’s Kochi city, an officer said.

‘I regret to inform that Chief of Staff, Southern Naval Command, Rear Admiral S.S. Jamwal, died in accidental firing at INS Dronacharya today (Wednesday),’ navy spokesman Commander P.V.S. Satish told IANS in New Delhi.

Satish said the circumstances leading to the accidental firing during a small arms training session on a firing range and the death of the 51-year-old officer were being investigated.

In Kochi, Commodore M.R. Ajaya Kumar, naval officer in charge Kerala, told reporters that a bullet from Jamwal’s pistol hit him at around 10.30 a.m. when he was training a batch of 24 trainers.

It was a ‘misfire’, Kumar said, adding the rear admiral ‘was declared dead in a hospital’.

Jamwal took over as chief of staff Southern Naval Command Sep 1, 2009. Earlier, he had served as the naval attache at the Indian embassy in Moscow.

An alumnus of Lawrence School Sanawar, National Defence Academy, Grechko Naval War College in Russia, Defence Services Staff College Wellington and Army War College, Jamwal in his 30-year-long service had specialised in undersea battles to find, track and deter, damage or destroy enemy submarines.

Originally from Jammu, Jamwal is survived by his wife Geeta and two children who live in Delhi. He was commissioned into the navy July 1, 1980.

As soon as the news of his death spread, people in Jammu started trooping in large numbers to meet his father, Major General (retd) Jagdish Singh Jamwal.

‘He was a brave man,’ the father remembered of his son.

Poised even after hearing the ‘most shocking news of my life’, the senior Jamwal said: ‘It’s a great loss to me.’

In Kochi, naval officials said they were yet to decide whether the officer’s funeral will take place in Kochi or in Delhi.

‘If it happens here (in Kochi) it would be formal ceremonial funeral,’ said Kumar.

Jamwal’s afloat appointments included tenures on Indian naval ships Taragiri, Atul, Rajput, Ranvijay.

He also commanded the Vibhuti and Kuthar and was commissioning executive officer of guided missile destroyer Delhi and commissioning commanding officer of guided missile frigate Beas.

He was the Aide-de-Camp (ADC) to the president of India 1983-85.

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