Arun Shridhar Vaidya

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General
Arun Shridhar Vaidya
PVSM, MVC and Bar, AVSM
General Arun Shridhar Vaidya.jpg
Born 27 January 1926
Alibag, British India
Died 10 August 1986
Pune, Maharashtra, India
Allegiance  British India
 India
Service/branch  British Indian Army
 Indian Army
Years of service 1945 - 1986
Rank General of the Indian Army.svg General
Unit 9th Deccan Horse
Commands held IA Eastern Command.jpg Eastern Army
16 (Independent) Armoured Brigade
Deccan Horse
Awards IND Padma Vibhushan BAR.png Padma Vibhushan
Param Vishisht Seva Medal ribbon.svg Param Vishisht Seva Medal
Maha Vir Chakra ribbon.svg MVC and Bar
Ati Vishisht Seva Medal ribbon.svg AVSM

General Arun Shridhar Vaidya PVSM, MVC and Bar, AVSM (27 January 1926 – 10 August 1986) was the 13th Chief of Army Staff (COAS) of the Indian Army.

Family[edit]

Vaidya was born to Shridhar B. Vaidya and his wife Indira in Bombay on January 27, 1926. His wife's name was Bhanu and they had three daughters.[1][2][3]

Career[edit]

Lieutenant Colonel[edit]

In 1965, Vaidya was in command of the Deccan Horse. During the time he was instrumental in saving the Command Trucks and fleeing Divisional Headquarters through his tanks through an encirclement by Pakistan Army's 6th Armoured Division at the Battle of Chawinda which resulted in destruction of Pakistan's 1st Armoured Division and heavy loss of Pakistani lives. For this he was awarded the Maha Vir Chakra.

Brigadier[edit]

During the 1971 Indo-Pak conflict, he was the commander of an armored brigade in the Zafarwal sector on the western front. In the Battle of Chakra and Dahira, the hostile terrain was combined with minefields. He crossed through the minefield and moved forward. Thus the entire squadron was able to push through the lane and quickly deploy itself to meet the Pakistan Army's counter-attacks.

During the Battle of Basantar or Battle of Barapind in the same conflict, he displayed skill and leadership in getting his tanks through deep minefields. For this he was awarded a second Maha Vir Chakra (known as the Bar to MVC).

General (COAS)[edit]

On 31 July 1983 General Vaidya became the 13th Chief Of Army Staff of the Indian Army . In 1984, he planned Operation Blue Star to evict Sikh militants hidden in Golden temple.

Retirement[edit]

He retired on 31 January 1986, one of India's most decorated officers.[4] He had completed over 40 years of service.

Operation Blue Star[edit]

In 1984, Vaidya designed and supervised[5] Operation Blue Star - a military operation ordered by Indira Gandhi, then Prime Minister of India,[6] against militants commanded by Shabeg Singh (AVSM and PVSM) under Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale, Chief of Damdami Taksal, in June 1984 at the Golden Temple complex.

Assassination[edit]

Vaidya retired and took residence in Pune, India. On 10 August 1986 he was shot to death while driving his car home from the market.[7] According to the police, the assailants pulled up next to his car on motor scooters and fired eight or nine shots into the car.[8] Vaidya reportedly died instantly of head and neck wounds. His bodyguard, who was also in the car, was wounded by four bullets in his back and thighs.[9]

According to Indian intelligence sources, Vaidya had been the number four assassination target on lists of Punjabi insurgents and he was one of several people killed in retaliation for Operation Blue Star.[10][11]

Following the assassination, the Khalistan Commando Force issued a statement declaring that Vaidya had been killed in retaliation for the Golden Temple operation.[10] In 1989, Sukhdev Singh Sukha and Harjinder Singh Jinda were sentenced to death for the killing. Despite admitting to the killing, they pleaded not-guilty, justifying their actions by stating that Vaidya was "guilty of a serious crime, the punishment for which could only be death".[11] The two were executed on 9 October 1992.

Awards and recognition[edit]

Honours and awards[edit]

Param Vishisht Seva Medal ribbon.svg Maha Vir Chakra ribbon.svg Ati Vishisht Seva Medal ribbon.svg Wound Medal-India.svg
India General Service Medal 1947.svg IND Samanya Seva medal.svg IND Samar Seva Star Ribbon.svg IND Paschimi Star Ribbon.svg
IND Raksha Medal Ribbon.svg IND Sangram Medal Ribbon.svg IND Sainya Seva Medal Ribbon.svg Indian Independence medal 1947.svg
IND 25th Anniversary Independence medal.svg IND 30 Years Long Service Ribbon.svg IND 20YearsServiceMedalRibbon.svg IND 9YearsServiceMedalRibbon.svg
Ribbon - 1939-45 Star.png Ribbon - Burma Star.png War Medal 1939–1945 (UK) ribbon.png Ribbon India Service Medal.png
Param Vishisht Seva Medal
Maha Vir Chakra
Ati Vishist Seva Medal
Wound Medal
General Service Medal 1947
Samanya Seva Medal
Samar Seva Medal
Paschimi Star
Raksha Medal
Sangram Medal
Sainya Seva Medal
Indian Independence Medal
25th Anniversary of Independence Medal
30 Years Long Service Medal
20 Years Long Service Medal
9 Years Long Service Medal
1939 - 1945 Star
Burma Star
War Medal: 1939 - 1945
India Service Medal

References[edit]

  1. ^ S.Sartaj Alam Abidi; Satinder Sharma (2008). Services Chiefs of India. Northern Book Centre. p. 73. 
  2. ^ "DnaIndia mumbai report (Dec 2013)". CKP as a community has been known for its “writing and fighting skills”. Some prominent faces that it boasts as members are Baji Prabhu Deshpande, a fighter in Shivaji’s army, Ram Ganesh Gadkari, Marathi writer, B G Deshmukh, ex-chief secretary, Bal Thackeray, General Arun Kumar Vaidya, late army chief, and Tanuja and Smita Salaskar... 
  3. ^ "Nagpur Today (Nov 2014)". Among the famous CKP people are – Balasaheb Thackeray and the entire clan; Mr. C.D. Deshmukh, India’s first Finance Minister and Governor of the RBI, film star Kajol’s mother Tanuja who is daughter of famous erstwhile actress Shobhana Samarth. Nutan was her sister. Admiral Tipnis, Chief of Indian Air force; General Vaidya and many more such luminaries. 
  4. ^ "General Arunkumar Sridhar Vaidya". Bharat-Rakshak.com. Archived from the original on 10 January 2014. 
  5. ^ "IN BRIEF; Indian General Who Raided Temple Is Slain". The New York Times. 17 August 1986. 
  6. ^ "Operation Bluestar, 20 Years On". Rediff.com. 
  7. ^ Associated Press. "Shrine Leader Killed in Ambush", The Dallas Morning News, 11 August 1986.
  8. ^ Weisman, Steven R. "A Top Indian General is Assassinated", Seattle Post-Intelligencer, 11 August 1986.
  9. ^ Sun-Times Wires. "Sikhs kill ex-army chief, massacre revenge hinted", Chicago Sun-Times, 11 August 1986.
  10. ^ a b Associated Press. "General cremated; Sikhs admit to killing", c/o Houston Chronicle, 11 August 1986.
  11. ^ a b "The Vaidya Murder Case: Confirming Death Sentences", India Abroad. (New York edition). New York, N.Y.: 24 July 1992. Vol.XXII, Issue. 43; pg.20.
Military offices
Preceded by
Kotikalapudi Venkata Krishna Rao
Chief of Army Staff
1983–1986
Succeeded by
Krishnaswamy Sundarji