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Rashtrapati Bhavan : 12.04.2015

The President of India, Shri Pranab Mukherjee has condoled the passing away of Air Chief Marshal Hrushikesh Moolgavkar.

In his condolence message to his daughter, Smt. Jyoti Rai and son, Dr. Prakash Moolgavkar, the President has said, "I am sad to learn about the passing away of your father Air Chief Marshal Hrushikesh Moolgavkar, former Chief of the Air Staff.

Air Chief Marshal Moolgavkar led the Indian Air Force with distinction from February 1976 to August 1978. He was awarded the Mahavir Chakra in 1948 for his role in the Kashmir operations and exceptional gallantry in the famous battle of Zoji La. He had many firsts to his credit. He became in 1951 the first Indian to fly faster than sound operating a Mystere-II fighter Bomber. He was one of the first to fly the MIG Fighter aircraft and the Gnat fighter in 1954. Air Chief Marshal Moolgavkar implemented several reforms and rules that saw improvement in fight safety across the IAF. He was not just a brave air warrior but also a leader always concerned about the welfare of Indian Air Force personnel. Air Chief Marshal Moolgavkar was honoured by the nation with a Param Vishist Seva Medal for his service of 38 years in the Indian Air Force. His services to the nation will be always remembered.

Please convey my heartfelt condolences to all members of your family. I pray to the Almighty to give you and your family the strength and courage to bear this irreparable loss”.

This release issued at 1510 hrs.