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Army complex to be named after Manekshaw

June 30, 2008 14:09 IST

The government will name an under-construction complex for warfare studies in the Delhi Cantonment after Field Marshal Sam Manekshaw.

"We have decided to rename the Param Vir Complex being constructed at the entrance to Delhi Cantonment as Manekshaw Centre in memory of the iconic military leader," Army Chief General Deepak Kapoor said on Monday.

The complex will house the Centre for Land and Air Warfare Studies and a centre for peace-keeping operations and also serve as a hub for seminars, discussions and other important events.

The army revers Sam Manekshaw's bravery, courage and leadership capabilities through which he achieved victory in the 1971 Indo-Pak war, Kapoor said, soon after recording his message in a condolence book kept at the India Gate in Delhi.

"It will be right, not just for the army, but the whole nation to commemorate the Field Marshal's memory," he said to a question over the delay in paying respect to the departed military leader and absence of the military top brass at his state funeral in Tamil Nadu.

To another query, Kapoor said it would be good for the nation to remember its martyrs, and if the national war memorial was constructed, it would provide an opportunity to countrymen to salute soldiers, who laid down their lives in battlefield.

Earlier, Defence Minister A K Antony said the government regarded the late Field Marshal in high esteem and as a mark of respect, accorded him a state funeral.

He was replying to criticisms that there was delay from the government in paying respect to the departed military leader.

"People can have different opinions on what should have been done after the Field Marshal's demise, but the fact is the government decision to accord state funeral is proof enough to show we hold him in high esteem," Antony said.

Antony recorded his message in the condolence book at India Gate, in which he wrote: "Sam Manekshaw is the greatest soldier of all time. His leadership at the time of war and during crisis is an inspiration for the whole nation. He was an institution and a dedicated military leader to the armed forces."

Penning down his emotions on the death of Manekshaw, Marshal of the Indian Air Force Arjan Singh said: "In his passing away, the country has lost a distinguished soldier, an inspiring leader in peace and war and a great citizen of India. For ages to come, the countrymen will remember his forceful personality and admire him as a military leader. His services to the nation will be a part of our history."

In his recordings, General Deepak Kapoor wrote: "The Indian Army salutes the great son of the nation for his courage, bravery, supreme commandership and leadership. He made victory possible over the adversary in a convincing manner and made Indians proud of themselves."

Chairman of Chiefs of Staff Committee and Navy Chief Admiral Sureesh Mehta in his condolence said: "In reverential tribute to the able soldier, who had unmatched qualities of the head and heart, and attained an iconic status through brilliant leadership. His memory shall remain etched in our minds."

Air Chief Marshal F H Major wrote: "In solemn homage to the greatest soldier the world has ever seen. His valour, forthrightness and wit shall be remembered for all times to come."

Others who recorded their grief in the book were Vice Chief of Army Staff Lt Gen M L Naidu, Vice Chief of Air Staff Air Marshal P V Naik, Vice Chief of Navy Staff Vice Admiral R P Suthan, Chief of Integrated Defence Staff Lt Gen H S Lidder, Western Air Command Air Officer Commanding-in-Chief Air Marshal P K Barbora and former IAF chief Air Chief Marshal (retired) S P Tyagi.

Large numbers of the general public too gathered at the India Gate to write down their messages in the book, which will remain open between 9.30 hours to 16.30 hours till July 3 for people to record their condolences on the death of the Field Marshal.

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