Durgapur, Aug. 16: A 22-year-old sailor from Durgapur is among those feared dead in Wednesday’s explosion of submarine INS Sindhurakshak in Mumbai.
Malay Halder’s mother, Sujata, 42, who reached Mumbai by flight with husband Mrinal, 55, and a relative yesterday, told The Telegraph that she had requested her elder son several times to leave the job when she came to know that it would entail staying under water.
“When I came to know that Malay had been assigned a job in a submarine, I repeatedly told him not continue. I told him I didn’t want him to remain under water. But my son did not listen. Now, I think I have lost my son,” said Sujata over phone, breaking down. Her younger son Abhishek is a first-year physics honours student at Calcutta’s Ashutosh College.
Sujata said she and the other family members were putting up at the navy guesthouse in Mumbai. “My husband is busy talking to navy officials and completing formalities,” she said.
Malay’s father Mrinal is an employee of the transport department of Durgapur Projects Limited. The family lives in the company quarters at DPL Colony in Durgapur.
Malay passed his higher-secondary exam from T.N. High School in Durgapur. He had enrolled for an electronics engineering course at Kanad Institute of Engineering and Management in Mankar near Durgapur. But he left his studies midway after getting the navy job in August 2011.
Malay underwent six months’ training before being assigned to a submarine at the navy base in Visakhapatnam in March 2012.
“My son was shifted to the electrical department of the Sindhurakshak on August 5. I had asked my son many times to complete his studies and then take up a job,” Sujata said, sobbing incessantly.
Neighbours rushed to the Halders’ single-storey quarters after coming to know about the blasts from television on Wednesday.
Subhojit Mukherjee, Malay’s friend and neighbour, said: “When I reached Malay’s house, his mother had a dazed expression on her face. ‘Shob sesh hoye galo baba (everything is finished),’ she told me.”
Subhojit said Malay had come home on leave for the last time on June 4. “He was here till June 29. Before leaving, he told us that he hoped to be back in December. He had planned to throw a party for us on his birthday on December 12 in a good restaurant in Durgapur,” said Subhojit, in his early twenties.
“He told us he found working in a submarine thrilling. But, at the same time, he had told us he knew about the dangers his job involved. He had said if some accident happened, he might not survive,” Subhojit added.
Sisir Chatterjee, another neighbour of the Halders, said Malay was a “polite and friendly boy”. “He got a job early. Many of his friends are still unemployed. But he was never arrogant. He loved his friends,” said Chatterjee, an elderly gentleman.