New Delhi: The final journey of the Marshal of the Indian Air Force Arjan Singh began today with the mortal remains being taken on a gun carriage to the Brar Square here for conducting last rites with state honours.

One of finest soldiers of India, Singh, who had led an young Indian Air Force during the 1965 India-Pakistan war, died on Saturday following a cardiac arrest at the age of 98.

All senior officers of the three services were present at the Brar Square besides several political leaders including former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and BJP veteran L K Advani.

Singh’s body was being taken to the Brar Square crematorium on a gun carriage.

President Ram Nath Kovind and Prime Minister Narendra Modi visited Singh’s residence yesterday and paid glowing tributes to the war hero.

Arjan Singh, the hero of the 1965 India-Pakistan war and the only Air Force officer to be promoted to five-star rank, was entrusted with the responsibility of leading the IAF when he was only 44 years old.

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.

PTI