Kochi: The Navy says that one if its senior-most officers who died at a training centre in Kochi on Wednesday morning accidentally shot himself while examining a pistol.
Rear Admiral Satyendra Singh Jamwal, Navy's Southern Command chief of staff, was at the firing range of INS Dronacharya , a Naval gunnery school in Kochi, when he died. His death was described then as "an accidental firing." In the evening, at a press conference, the Navy said that Jamwal was examining why a pistol wasn't firing when he shot himself.
Rejecting the possibility that this was an act of suicide, the Navy said an internal inquiry will be completed within ten days.
In response to a question, Commodore M R Ajayakumar said, "If Rear Admiral had to commit suicide, he would not have gone to the firing range."
He said a lot of officers were present when the incident happened. There shall be a post-mortem and a formal service in Kochi. The family of the Rear Admiral is yet to decide where the funeral will be held.
Rear Admiral Jamwal had served as the Aide-de-Camp to the President of India between 1983 and 1985. He was also the Naval Attache at the Indian Embassy in Moscow before he took over in September as Chief of Staff of the Southern Naval Command, which also handles all training activities of the Navy.
The Admiral, who was from Jammu, is survived by wife Geeta Jamwal and a daughter and son.
He was commissioned in the Executive Branch of the Indian Navy as a Surface Warfare Officer on July 1, 1980, and had specialized in anti-submarine warfare (ASW). (With PTI inputs)