Josy Joseph in New Delhi
Air Marshal Manjit Singh Sekhon, who was removed as the chief of Southern Air Command after his letter to former Punjab chief minister Parkash Singh Badal seeking political favours surfaced, has finally resigned.
The Air Force accepted Sekhon's resignation on Tuesday morning, which was submitted late Monday evening.
"The government has accepted his resignation," a Ministry of Defence spokesman told rediff.com.
The resignation of the former Air Officer Commanding-in-Chief of Southern Command came after intense pressure mounted on Sekhon, who began playing recalcitrant after the IAF served him a show cause notice for dismissal.
The IAF was forced to take the extreme step after a letter that Sekhon wrote on October 22, 2001 to Badal surfaced mysteriously a week back, when he was concluding his investigation into Pakistani firing on February 19 this year at a plane flown by Western Air Command chief Air Marshal Vinod Bhatia.
Sekhon had requested Badal 'to speak with the prime minister' and get him posted as the Western Air Command chief.
Sekhon sought to impress Badal telling him: "I am most qualified and experienced to command WAC, and will be able to tackle Jammu and Kashmir and Pakistan as required by the government."
He promised Badal that he would be able to 'help the people of Punjab in many ways'.
"With Akalpurukh's blessings and your help, I can become Chief of Air Staff of the Indian Air Force one day," Sekhon said in his letter.
Sekhon started his career as a helicopter pilot in 1962, but later graduated to flying fighter planes and went on to hold several key posts.
He also won a Vir Chakra for his gallantry in the 1971 war.
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