By Colonel Awadhesh Kumar Special Forces, Veteran
As a part of ‘Navy Day 2015’ celebrations, for the first time in Mumbai, a visit to ships in harbour was organised for school children
On reading the above caption and hearing the news of passing away of Commander B N Kabina, I too remembered our visit to the Western Naval Command during our School trip from St Xaviers , Patna to Bombay and various other cities .
Flash back to October 1971. We school boys, divided into two groups, boarded two of the Indian Naval Ships. There was a very smart looking Officer standing to welcome us on board the ship. All the boys especially my Self were totally mesmerized. I had already decided to get into National Defence Academy with Navy as my first choice. I was so awe struck that I could not even hear the name of that Officer , though from his epaulets I knew he was a Lt Commander. He was the captain of that ship INS NIPAT. We were taken around in that Small ship ,which was pulsing with various type of activities…..all of them so fascinating. At that time , none of us knew that just a few weeks later this particular Ship , a missile boat would be creating history. INS NIPAT along with INS NIRGHAT and INS VEER , escorted by corvettes INS KILTAN and INS KATCHALL along with the tanker INS POSHAK carried out a daring attack on Karachi on the night of 04 — 05 December 1971, setting the entire harbour ablaze. These comparatively tiny ships, meant for coastal/ harbour defensive operations, re wrote the naval tactical books by executing such tasks at a distance which greatly exceeded their laid down range. INS NIPAT missiles alone accounted for PNS SHAH JAHAN, PNS KHYBER , MV Venus Challanger and Kemari oil storage tanks . Other missile boats took care of few other enemy ships. Pakistan Navy was totally stunned . Though more surprised were the US and the British Navy by the sheer audacity and planning done by the Indian Navy. However the most surprised was the Russian Navy , they themselves had never imagined that their missile boats had this kind of potential.
Lt Commander BN Kavina was that smart looking officer standing on deck of his ship. He was the captain of the Ship. He along with Lt Commander Inderjit Sharma and Lt Commander Om Prakash Mehta , Captains of the two other missile boats had carried out the daring attack on Karachi under the overall command of Commander BB Yadav. The brave heart who had commanded the Indian Navy ship during the missile attack on the Karachi harbour in the 1971 Indo-Pak war just faded like all soldiers do and today he is no more. At a ripe age of 80 , the hero has gone into final sleep.
The Hero: Lt Commander BN Kavina
Commander Kavina , Vr C , died in Adelaide, Australia, on 30 June , where he was staying with his son, as reported by the Indian Navy. We here by pay Homage to this Hero of India, through JAGRUK BHARAT .May his soul rest in peace. Long live COMMANDER B N KABINA, Vr C