Former Indian Army chief Field Marshal Sam Manekshaw, who is credited with crafting the campaign that led to the creation of Bangladesh after the 1971 war with Pakistan, is battling for life in a military hospital in Wellington in Tamil Nadu, a source in New Delhi said early Thursday.
"He is in extremely critical condition and doctors are fearing the worst," the source told IANS early Thursday, speaking on condition of anonymity.
Manekshaw, 94, has been battling a series of old age-related ailments for the past few years. He has been treated at the Army Hospital (Research & Referral) here and at the Military Hospital at Wellington, where he settled down after retiring as the army chief on Jan 15, 1973 after four decades of military service.
He was conferred the honorary rank of field marshal for his stellar leadership during the Bangladesh campaign that saw the surrender of more than 90,000 Pakistani troops on Dec 16, 1971 in Dacca, then the capital of East Pakistan and which has now been renamed Dhaka.
Born at Amritsar on April 13, 1914, Manekshaw was commissioned into the army from the first course of the Indian Military Academy, Dehradun, in 1934. He saw action in Burma, now Myanmar, during the Second World War and became the Indian Army chief on June 7, 1969.