Sam Bahadur to be accorded State Funeral: Antony

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New Delhi, Jun 27 (UNI) In a rare gesture, the government today decided to accord a State Funeral to Field Marshal SHFJ Manekshaw, who passed away early today at a military hospital in Wellington in Tamil Nadu.

Minister of State for Defence M M Pallam Raju will represent the Government at the funeral, Defence Minister A K Antony said here.

In a brief interaction with reporters here, Mr Antony said in the death of Field Marshal Manekshaw, the nation has lost a fine soldier.

''In his passing away, the nation has lost a true patriot who shall always remain an inspiration for our armed forces as well as for the nation,'' he said.

The Defence Minister, however, refused to coment on posers on as to why he or the Chiefs of Staff of Navy and Air Force would not go to Ooty to attend the funeral of the Field Marshal.

UNI NAB RR AS1745

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