Iconic former Army Chief Field Marshal Sam Manekshaw, who died in the wee hours on Friday, was given the final salute in a state funeral and laid to rest with full military honours. ( Watch )
As a 17-gun salute boomed, the body of Manekshaw (94) was buried in a Parsi graveyard adjacent to the place where his wife lay buried after the last rites was performed as per Zoroastrian customs. His wife Silloo died seven years back.
The celebrated master strategist and the architect of India's victory in the 1971 Indo-Pak war that resulted in the creation of Bangladesh was given a state funeral in an acknowledgement of his services to the country in his military career spanning four decades.
Union Minister of State for Defence Pallam Raju placed a wreath on behalf of the Prime Minister, Central Government and also public of India.
The body of 'Sam Bahadur'
; as he was affectionately called was kept at the Madras Regiment Centre parade grounds, Wellington, for about three hours from 11.15 am to enable the public to pay homage to the departed General.
The body was then placed inside a closed coffin in an open flower-bedecked military truck and brought to the graveyard, 21 km from Wellington.
Manekshaw' died at 0030 hours at a Wellington hospital where he was battling a lung disease for several days bringing to an end an era.
Public and media were not allowed inside the graveyard while the last rites were being performed as Manekshaw's family members wanted the ceremony to be a private affair.
Manekshaw's death was condoled by President, Vice-President, Prime Minister, Chief Ministers, Governors and former Service chiefs all of whom hailed the country's most celebrated Army Chiefs as an inspiring leader.