|Years of service 1948-1971|
Name Mahendra Mulla
|Service/branch Indian Navy|
Unit INS Khukri
|Born 15 May 1926
Gorakhpur, Uttar Pradesh, India (1926-05-15) |
Battles/wars Indo-Pakistani War of 1971
Awards Maha Vir Chakra (posthumous)
Died December 9, 1971, Arabian Sea
Battles and wars Indo-Pakistani War of 1971
Captain Mahendra Nath Mulla was an officer of the Indian Navy and the captain of the INS Khukri, who died when his ship was sunk during the Indo-Pakistani War of 1971.
Mahendra Nath Mulla was born on 15 May 1926, in Uttar Pradesh and was commissioned in the Indian Navy on 1 May 1948.
During the 1971 Indo-Pak War, Mulla was commanding a task force of two ships which formed part of the Western Fleet. The task force was assigned the task of hunting and destroying enemy submarines in the North Arabian Sea. At 20:50 hours on 9 December 1971, his vessel, INS Khukri, was hit by a torpedo fired by an enemy submarine, PNS Hangor, about 64 kilometres (40 mi) off Diu. Mulla issued orders for the ship to be abandoned because it was sinking.
He gave his own life-saving equipment to a sailor. Having directed many of his men as possible to leave the sinking ship, he went back to the bridge to see what further rescue operations could be performed. He was last seen going down with his ship.
Mulla's actions and the example he set were recognised by a posthumous award of the Maha Vir Chakra.
A memorial for the tribute to Mulla and other dead sailors exists at Diu 20°42′10″N 70°58′37″E. The memorial constitutes a full-scale model of INS Khukri encased in a glass house, placed on a hillock facing the sea. The memorial was inaugurated by Vice Admiral Madhvendra Singh as the flag officer commanding-in-chief.
The Capt. M. N. Mulla Auditorium, at Navy Nagar, Colaba, Mumbai, is named after him. A bust of Capt. Mulla (pictured on the right) stands in the foyer.