President Mukherjee hosts tea for 1965 war veterans

New Delhi, Sept.22 (ANI): President Pranab Mukherjee hosted a tea for veterans of 1965 war at the Rashtrapati Bhavan here on Tuesday.

On the occasion, President Mukherjee felicitated four veterans of the 1965 war, Marshal of the Air Force Arjan Singh, DFC; CQMH Abdul Hamid, PVC (Posthumous); Lt Col AB Tarapore, PVC (Posthumous) and Chaman Lal, Ashoka Chakra (Posthumous).

Rasoonan Bibi, Zarine Mahir and Asha Rani received the honour in behalf of Late CQMH Abdul Hamid, Late Lt Col A. B. Tarapore and Late Chaman Lal.

Marshal of the Indian Air Force Arjan Singh, DFC was chief of Air Staff in 1965. He led the Air Force through the war, demonstrating successful leadership and immense capability. As Squadron Leader, he had led the squadron against the Japanese during the Arakan Campaign in 1944 for which he received the Distinguished Flying Cross in the same year.

Arjan Singh was awarded Padma Vishushan for his leadership of the Air Force. In recognition of his services, the Government of India also conferred on him the rank of the Marshal of the Air Force in January 2002 making him the first and the only ‘Five Star’ rank officer in the Indian Air Force.

Lt Col Ardeshir Burzorji Tarapore, Commandant, Poona Horse, fought great tank battle for six days in September 1965 at Phillora Jassoran and Butur-Dograndi. On September 16, 1965, he was mortally wounded and breathed his last on the battlefield. His courage, fearlessness, determination and daring earned him the Param Vir Chakra posthumously.

Company Quarter Master Havildar Abdul Hamid of 4th Battalion, the Grenadiers, was in command of a detachment equipped with the 106mm recoilless anti tank gun when Pakistani guns opened fire on the Khem Karan area in Punjab on September 10, 1965. He was awarded the Param Vir Chakra posthumously for his courageous action during the attack.

Chaman Lal was posted with the Northern Railways during the Indo-Pak war in 1965. On September 13, 1965, he was a fireman with a goods train standing at Gurdaspur railway station which was carrying diesel. Suddenly the train was attacked by Pakistani F-86 Sabre Aircraft. Lal not only prevented the destruction of wagons and valuable stores but also saved the life of hundreds of people. His exemplary courage, foresight and self-sacrifice earned him the Ashoka Chakra posthumously. (ANI)

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