State funeral for Marshal Arjan Singh; flag to fly at half-mast in Delhi

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A state funeral will be accorded to Marshal of the Indian Air Force Arjan Singh and the national flag will fly at half-mast at all government buildings on Monday in his honour, the Home ministry said on Sunday.

The last rites of Singh, who passed away at the Army Research and Referral Hospital on Saturday, would be performed at Brar Square at 10 am on Monday.

“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.

Arjan Singh, the hero of the 1965 India-Pakistan war and the only Air Force officer to be promoted to five-star rank, died on Monday at the age of 98.

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.