India bids farewell to Marshal Arjan Singh, one of country's finest aviators

World Monday 18/September/2017 18:01 PM
By: Times News Service
India bids farewell to Marshal Arjan Singh, one of country's finest aviators

New Delhi: The nation on Monday bade a teary farewell to the Marshal of the Indian Air Force Arjan Singh, the legendary aviator who was laid to rest with full state honours including a fly past by fighter jets here.
The 98-year-old Singh's body was consigned to flames amid chanting of Sikh hymns at the Brar Square crematorium in Delhi Cantonment in the presence of several senior political leaders and top brass of the Indian military.
A 17-gun salute was given to Singh while IAF Sukhoi Su-30 MKI fighter jets carried out a fly past in the ‘missing man formation’ in honour of the 1965 war hero who died on Saturday. IAF MI-17 V5 choppers also conducted a fly-poast.
The missing man formation is an aerial manoeuvre to show respect to a departed military leader. The national flag flew at half-mast at all government buildings in the national capital in the honour of the iconic hero of the 1965 war.
Earlier, Singh's body, wrapped in the Indian tricolour, was taken to the Brar Square crematorium from his residence 7 Kautilya Marg in central New Delhi on a gun carriage.
Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman and the three service chiefs were among those present at the crematorium. A number of former chiefs of the Army and Indian Air Force and Singh’s family members paid tributes to the departed military icon at Brar Sqare.
One of the finest soldiers of India, Singh, who had led a young Indian Air Force during the 1965 India-Pakistan war, died of cardiac arrest.
All senior officers of the three services were present at Brar Square besides several political leaders including former prime minister Manmohan Singh and BJP veteran L. K. Advani.
President Ram Nath Kovind and Prime Minister Narendra Modi visited Singh's residence on Sunday and paid glowing tributes to the war hero. Singh is the only officer to attain the highest post of Marshal of the Air Force, a rank equivalent to the Army's five star field marshal, which have only been given to Sam Manikshaw and Field Marshal K.M. Cariappa.
Singh was a fearless and exceptional pilot who played a major role in transforming the IAF into one of the most potent air forces globally and the fourth biggest in the world, former colleagues said.
Known as a man of few words, Singh had profound knowledge of air power and applied it in a wide spectrum of areas, said Air Vice Marshal (Retd.) Kapil Kak, aformer vice chief of IAF.