Nation pays homage to Marshal of IAF Arjan Singh, state funeral today

Marshal of the Indian Air Force Arjan Singh died at the age of 98 on Saturday.

Nation pays homage to Marshal of IAF Arjan Singh, state funeral today
Delhi: Preparations underway for the last rites ceremony of Arjan Singh, Marshal of Air Force

New Delhi:  The mortal remains of Marshal of Air Force Arjan Singh is currently being taken to Brar Square in a gun carriage for the last rites ceremony.

A state funeral will be accorded to Marshal of the Indian Air Force Arjan Singh on Monday and the national flag will fly at half-mast at all government buildings in the national capital.

"As a mark of respect to the departed dignitary, a state funeral will be accorded and national flag will fly half-mast on the day of the funeral (September 18) in Delhi at all buildings where it is flown regularly," a Home Ministry spokesperson said.


The Defence Ministry said Singh's mortal remains will be taken to the funeral site from his residence in a gun carriage procession.

It said a gun salute will be given and a fly-past will be organised before the final rites.

Nation pays homage to Marshal of IAF:

Meanwhile, President Ram Nath Kovind led the nation on Sunday in paying final tributes to Arjan Singh.

Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman laid a wreath on behalf of herself and Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who was in Gujarat during the day for the inauguration of Sardar Sarovar Dam.

The three service chiefs - Air Chief Marshal Birender Singh Dhanoa, Naval chief Admiral Sunil Lanba, Army Chief General Bipin Rawat - as well as Minister of State Housing and Urban Affairs, Hardeep Puri were also present.

Among other dignitaries who were seen streaming in were Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, MoS for External Affairs and former Army chief VK Singh, former defence minister AK Antony and Congress MP Karan Singh.

Former Indian Air Force (IAF) chiefs SP Tyagi, NC Suri and Anil Y Tipnis, as well as several decorated officers who served under Arjan Singh during the 1965 war, were also present.

Later, after returning from Gujarat to Delhi, PM Modi drove straight from the airport to Singh's residence and paid his respects.

He also wrote a message of condolence and interacted with his family members.

Life and times of Arjan Singh:

Arjan Singh, the hero of the 1965 India-Pakistan war and the only Air Force officer to be promoted to five-star rank, died at the age of 98 at the Army's Research and Referral Hospital on Saturday.

He was entrusted with the responsibility of leading the IAF when he was only 44 years old, a task he carried out with elan. He was the chief of the IAF when it found itself at the forefront of the 1965 conflict.

Singh, who had flown more than 60 different types of aircraft, had played a major role in transforming the IAF into one of the most potent air forces globally and the fourth biggest in the world.

Known as a man of few words, he was not only a fearless fighter pilot but had profound knowledge about air power which he applied in a wide spectrum of air operations. He was awarded the Padma Vibhushan, the second highest civilian honour, in 1965. 

(With PTI inputs)

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