New Delhi: The state funeral procession of the sole Marshal of the Indian Air Force, Arjan Singh has begun on Monday morning in the national capital.
The 98-year-old war hero died on Saturday at Army’s Research and Referral hospital in Delhi after a cardiac arrest. The national flag will fly at half-mast at all government buildings in Delhi in the honour of the veteran.
Arjan Singh’s mortal remains are being taken from his home to the funeral site at Brar Square in Delhi Cantonment in a gun carriage procession, a journey of 8 km. Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said a gun salute will also be given. “Weather permitting, a fly-past (of Sukhoi-30 fighters) will also be held to honour his memory,” she said on Sunday when she visited Arjan Singh’s home to pay respects to him.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi visited his home on Sunday evening and extended condolences to his family. President Ram Nath Kovind tweeted, “Sad at demise of a great air warrior & Marshal of the Air Force Arjan Singh. Condolences to his family & IAF community.”
The only Air Force officer to be promoted to five-star rank, Arjan Singh was famous for his role in the 1965 India-Pakistan war. “It was to his credit that despite initial setbacks, we were able to ‘overcome and overwhelm’ the enemy and spoil their design to annex Jammu and Kashmir,” Air Chief Marshal BS Dhanoa said.
With the death of Arjan Singh, India has no five star ranked military officers, equivalent to a Field Marshal in rank.