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3:08 pm - Monday October 21, 3895

State funeral accorded to Marshal of IAF Arjan Singh

Agencies, New Delhi

Marshal of the IAF Arjan Singh was accorded a state funeral this morning at Brar Square in the national capital. Twenty-one gun salute was given to him and a fly past organised before the final rites of the Marshal.

The last rites of the Marshal of the Air Force were performed at 1000 hrs. Former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, Former deputy Prime Minister L K Advani, Air Chief Marshal Birender Singh Dhanoa, Naval Chief Admiral Sunil Lanba, Army Chief General Bipin Rawat — paid their tributes to Marshal of Air Force Arjan Singh.

As a mark of respect to the departed dignitary, the national flag will fly half-mast on all buildings where it is flown regularly. Ninety-eight-year-old Arjan Singh, Marshal of Indian Air Force and India’s oldest and the only officer of the IAF to have been promoted to five-star rank, breathed his last at the Army hospital here on September 16.

Famous for his stellar role in the 1965 Indo-Pak war when he led the IAF from front, Arjan Singh had a life-long zest for flying and had flown 60 different kinds of aircraft. During the war when Pakistan had launched ‘Operation Grand Slam’ targeted at the crucial border town of Akhnoor in Jammu and Kashmir, it was Arjan Singh who led the air force with his professional skill and courage.

He took charge of Indian Air Force’s third chief of staff in August 1964. In 1965, he was honoured with Padma Vibhushan for his role in Indo-Pak war. When he retired in 1970, he became one of the longest serving chiefs of armed forces in the country. During his tenure as Air Force chief, IAF acquired modern fighters, reconnaissance aircraft, transport planes and tactical helicopters.

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