Mumbai, Jan 25 (IANS): On Republic Day, the Indian Navy shall 'gift' a decommissioned warship, 'Khukri' to the Union Territory of Diu, for a final resting place in a new 'avatar' as a museum, after nearly 33 years of service to the nation.
The INS Khukri, lead ship of the Khukri Class corvettes and an indigenous surface-to-surface missile fitted vessel, had the distinction of serving both the Eastern and Western Naval Fleets.
Built by the Mazagon Dock Shipbuilders Ltd (MDL), it was commissioned to the Indian Navy on August 23, 1989 by the then Defence Minister K.C. Pant and Sudha Mulla, wife of the late Capt M.N. Mulla.
During her long service of over 3 decades, INS Khukri took part in all forms of naval operations, till her decommissioning last month, on December 23, 2021.
At that time, the National Tricolour, Naval Ensign and decommissioning pennant were lowered at sunset in the presence of the Vice Admiral Biswajit Dasgupta, Flag Officer Commanding-in-Chief, Eastern Naval Command.
INS Khukri was the second naval ship to bear the same name - the first one was lost on Dec 9, 1971, along with its valiant crew of around 194 officers and sailors, during the India-Pakistan War (1971) off the Diu coast in the Arabian Sea.
The entire crew led by Capt M.N. Mulla has been immortalised in the Khukri Memorial at Diu where a scaled-down model of the old ship is displayed in a glass house atop a sea-facing hill.
As part of developing the revitalising the Khukri Memorial, the Diu Administration had requested the Ministry of Defence in 2019 to 'gift' the ship to them for public display.
The Centre agreed and after decommissioning the Khukri, commenced her final voyage from Visakhapatnam and reached Diu on Jan 14, and shall be formally handed over to the administration on India's 73rd Republic Day on Wednesday.
The Diu Administration plans to develop her as a full-fledged museum and live up to her motto and war-cry: "Bal, Sahas, Josh aur Dum, Khukri Nahi Kissise Kum".