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Condolences pour in for Manekshaw
June 30, 2008 15:48 IST
Politicians may have given a go-by to one of India's proudest soldiers, but hundreds of people thronged to India Gate in New Delhi to sign the condolence book to mark their grief on the passing away of the country's first Field Marshal SHFJ Manekshaw.
The condolence book was placed next to the Martyr's Memorial at India Gate and Defence Minister A K Antony led the nation and was the first to sign the condolence book in which he described Manekshaw as the "Marshal who led from the front".
The country's sole surviving Marshal Arjan Singh, who is the Marshal of the Air Force, was next and he termed Manekshaw one of the leading field commanders in India's history.
The three service Chiefs, Admiral Sureesh Mehta, who is also the Chairman of Chiefs of Staff, General Deepak Kapoor and Air Chief Marshal F H Major also signed the condolence book.
Other distinguished people who had lined up to sign the book which was placed at Martyr's Memorial at 0900 hours included former service Chiefs, Principal Staff officers at the Army, Navy and Air Headquarters, Defence attaches, politicians, Members of Parliament and others.
A large number of mourners along with their families also lined up the broad vista in front of India Gate. Among them were war veterans of the Burma campaign and the three wars which the country has faced since 1947.
"I want to salute the great son of the soil" said one ordinary civilian who had come all the way from Dehradun to pay his last respects to Sam Bahadur.
The book will remain open from Monday to July 3 between 0930 to 1600 hours, an Army spokesman said.