Almost a week after the sinking of INS Sindhurakshak, Defence Minister AK Antony on Thursday said that he did not rule out sabotage angle in the Navy submarine accident. It has to be mentioned that earlier this week he had said “preliminary investigations into the sinking of INS Sindhurakshak revealed that explosions were caused by the possible ignition of its armaments”. The Voice of Russia however dismissed this version stating that even majority of local experts rule out this possibility as the port and the submarine were guarded around the clock. According to Indian media, the night before the accident, Sindhurakshak ended preparations for another outward bound. It appears that in view of increased Indian hostilities on LoC, India tried to keep the navy combat-ready. Anyhow, according to an official at the Zvezdochka Shipbuilding Centre, the specialists of the guarantee group visited the submarine on the eve of the accident, and all systems under their control were completely operable.

According to Russian experts, the only reason for the tragedy was the violation of violation of safety standards and instructions. Experts are discussing first and foremost possible violations by the crew during the recharging of the submarine’s accumulators. Hydrogen emits during the charging and exploitation of batteries, and when its concentration increases, an extremely explosive mixture is formed in the air. In this case, submarine is equipped with a hydrogen burner that is aimed at neutralizing a possible threat of an explosion. In an interview with the Voice of Russia, retired Commodore Parambir Singh Bawa pointed to the possibility of exploding hydrogen. There is a strong possibility that missiles were accidentally fired by the personnel. It was suggested that originally, hydrogen exploded, and then ammunition might have exploded. According to another version, a warhead had exploded on board and the submarine’s forward end was completely destroyed because a warhead of a Club anti-ship missile contains 400 kilograms of powerful explosive.

Of course, the incident has brought down the Indian navy’s submarine capability, and the Indian navy’s ill-preparedness in handling such crises has been exposed. Due to its inability to deal with such accidents, India has approached US and Scandinavian experts who have carried out their surveys and now await heavy machinery and heavy cranes to lift the submarine out of water. India has ordered a review of its submarines' weapons safety systems, and after initial investigations showed that arms on board the INS Sindhurakshak may have played a role in its sinking. About two months before actual sinking of INS Sindhurakshak, there was a report in Indian media suggesting that India's underwater combat arm - the submarines fleet - was sinking.

“India has 14 conventional submarines, of which half are available for deployment. This is because ageing submarine fleets is being forced to spend more and more time at the docks for repairs and maintenance. The possibility of submarines lurking underneath the sea makes it difficult for enemy ships to move freely”, said a senior navy officer.

A depleting submarine fleet means that India will have less and less capability of keeping submarines under the water all the time. On the other hand, six Scorpene submarines, which were meant to be delivered by 2016, have been further delayed. The first was expected in 2012. The first of these boats will now be inducted into the Navy in 2016. The order is not likely to be completed before 2022. The six submarines are being built at Mazagaon Docks Limited (MDL) in Mumbai with technology transfer from DCNS of France. With India’s buying spree of sophisticated and lethal arsenal, and its planning to add 100 naval ships and submarines in the navy up to 2030 with a view to matching China’s capability, India’s economy is also sinking. Its rupee has lost about twenty percent against US dollar during last two years. If India continues to spend hundreds of billions of dollars on defence, it may implode from within as the teeming millions wretched of the earth would remain without food, clothing, shelter and medicine. And the fact remains that there are secessionist movements in 11 provinces of India.