Manekshaw condolence book to remain open till Friday

July 2nd, 2008 - 8:59 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, July 2 (IANS) A condolence book placed here to enable the people pay their tributes to former Indian army chief Field Marshal Sam Manekshaw will be kept open for two more days till Friday given the overwhelming response it has evoked, it was announced here Wednesday. The book, at the India Gate war memorial to the Unknown Soldier, was opened Monday and was to have been closed Wednesday.

“Seeing the overwhelming response of the people, the condolence book will be kept open for two more days to enable the people to pay their tributes to their beloved Sam Bahadur (as Manekshaw was fondly called),” Indian Army spokesman Col A.K. Mathur said.

Thousands of people from all walks of life have, in the last three days, paid tribute to Manekshaw, whose politco-military astuteness scripted a decisive victory for India in the 1971 war against Pakistan that led to creation of Bangladesh as an independent nation from the erstwhile East Pakistan.

Defence Minister A.K. Antony, the three service chiefs, Marshal of the Indian Air Force Arjan Singh and former army chief Gen. N.C. Vij are among those who have signed the book. Indian Council for Cultural Relation president Karan Singh, member of parliament Manvendra Singh and All India Anti-Terrorist Front chairman Maninder Singh Bitta have also recorded their tributes.

“Senior army officers from Russia, Germany and the Czech Republic (serving in their embassies here), also turned up to pay their tributes,” Mathur added.

Manekshaw, 94, had been battling a series of age-related diseases and died of acute pneumonia June 27 at the Military Hospital at Wellington in Tamil Nadu. He was interred the same evening in the hill station of Ooty next to the grave of his wife Siloo, who died in 2001.

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