Hundreds of people including Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman and the three Service Chiefs, bid a tearful adieu to Marshal of the Indian Air Force (IAF) Arjan Singh at a state funeral at Brar Square here on Monday.
Arjan Singh, who led the air operations in the 1965 war with Pakistan, died at the Army Research and Referral Hospital here on Saturday. He was admitted to the Intensive Care Unit after suffering a cardiac arrest. He was 98.
The Army gave a 17-gun salute to the Marshal. The IAF officers sounded the bugle before the cremation at the Delhi Cantonment area.
Besides Sitharaman, IAF Chief B.S. Dhanoa, Chief of Naval staff Sunil Lanba, Army Chief Bipin Rawat, former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, senior BJP leader L.K. Advani, and several former Service Chiefs, relatives, and friends were also present.
The IAF’s Sukhoi-30 fighters in the “missing man” formation along with the Mi-17V5 choppers in “insignia” formation made the flypast paying their last respects to the national hero.
Arvind Singh, son of Arjan Singh lit the pyre after Sikh priests performed religious rituals.
Earlier, the mortal remains of the Marshal was taken out in a gun carriage from his 7, Kautilya Marg residence.
The body was wrapped in the national flag. The carriage was decorated with marigold flowers. Singh’s last journey of 8 km to Brar Square here was accompanied with an Air Force band.
Arjan Singh was the first five star officer of the IAF and was for a long time the only living five star officer.