New Delhi: Lt Gen JFR Jacob (retd), who played a key role in the 1971 war which broke up Pakistan and created Bangladesh, died in New Delhi on Wednesday, a hospital said.
The 93-year-old passed away around 8.30 am at the Army Hospital (Research and Referral) due to pneumonia, a hospital official said. He had been admitted on 1 January.
Born in the Bengal Presidency under British India, Jacob joined the army at the age of 19 and also fought in World War II and the Indo-Pakistan War of 1965 before he retired in 1978.
Jacob was the Chief of Staff of the Indian Army's Eastern Command during the 1971 India-Pakistan war that led to Pakistan's eastern wing seceding and becoming an independent Bangladesh.
Jacob also served as the governor of Goa and Punjab.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi expressed his condolences at the veteran's passing.
RIP Lt Gen JFR Jacob. India will always remain grateful to him for his impeccable service to the nation at the most crucial moments.
Lt Gen JFR Jacob & I interacted often. Had a memorable interaction when he presented his autobiography to me. pic.twitter.com/h32apAvBrm
— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) January 13, 2016
Minister of Railways Suresh Prabhu also tweeted his condolences:
Gen Jacob,decorated war veteran,true patriot,very good human being.Sad to know his passing away.We were good https://t.co/ggtXo0MYQw.
— Suresh Prabhu (@sureshpprabhu) January 13, 2016
In her condolence message, Congress President Sonia Gandhi hailed Jacob as a "brave son of India".
"The country stands proud of his life, work and service to the nation as a soldier and patriot," she said. "A brave son of India, his role in the Bangladesh liberation war has a special place in the war history of the world," she added.
With inputs from PTI and IANS