New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi and President Ram Nath Kovind on Saturday expressed grief at the demise of Indian Air Force (IAF) Marshal Arjan Singh.
"India mourns the unfortunate demise of Marshal of the Indian Air Force Arjan Singh. We remember his outstanding service to the nation. India will never forget the excellent leadership of Marshal of the IAF Arjan Singh in 1965, when the IAF saw substantial action," PM tweeted.
Arjan Singh, who led the Indian Air Force in the 1965 India-Pakistan War, died at the age of 98 following a cardiac arrest.
Glorifying the iconic personality, PM Modi said Marshal of the IAF Arjan Singh's determined focus on capacity building in the IAF added great strength to the country's defence capabilities.
He further said, "Sometime back I met him, who despite his ill health tried to get up to salute even though I said no. Such was his soldier discipline. My thoughts are with his family & those mourning the demise of a distinguished air warrior and fine human, Marshal of the IAF Arjan Singh."
Marshal Singh, the only IAF officer to be given a distinction equal to that of a Field Marshal, was also India's oldest five-star ranked air force officer.
He was admitted to New Delhi's Army Hospital Research and Referral in a critical condition and was given a ventilator support.
Meanwhile, President Kovind took to Twitter saying, "Sad at demise of a great air warrior and Marshal of the Air Force Arjan Singh. Condolences to his family and IAF community. Marshal of the IAF Arjan Singh was a WW II hero and won our nation's gratitude for his military leadership in 1965 war."
On August 1, 1964, Singh was appointed as the Chief of Air Staff. As per reports, he was the first Air Chief who kept his flying category till the CAS (Chief of Air Staff) rank.