Lt Gen (Retd) J F R Jacob, who played a key role in the 1971 war which liberated Bangladesh from Pakistan, died here today at the age of 92 due to “old age complications”.
Jacob, who was also Governor of Punjab and Goa, breathed his last at the Army Hospital here at around 8 am.
He was admitted to the Army’s Research and Referral Hospital since January 1 after suffering from pneumonia. Prime Minister Narendra Modi condoled his demise and said India will always remain grateful to Jacob for his impeccable service to the nation. He also recalled his association with him.
“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 and I interacted often. Had a memorable interaction when he presented his autobiography to me,” he tweeted.
Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar and BJP chief Amit Shah have also condoled his demise.
Army chief Gen Dalbir Singh Suhag expressed his deepest condolences towards this great loss, a statement by the Army said.
He said that Jacob was a pillar of military leadership and personified the best qualities of a soldier and a statesman who will always be remembered as one of the most prominent Leaders in the annals of Indian military history.
Jacob had negotiated the surrender of Pakistani troops in Dhaka after the 1971 Bangladesh liberation war when, as Major General, he served as the Chief of Staff of Indian Army’s Eastern Command.
Born in 1923 in Bengal Presidency under British India, Jacob joined the army at the age of 19 in 1942 and also fought in World War II and the Indo-Pakistan War of 1965 before he retired in 1978.
Post retirement, he joined BJP and headed its ex-servicemen wing. He was appointed Governor of Goa during Vajpayee government and then Governor of Punjab. He was also the Administrator of Union Territory of Chandigarh.
During his stint as Punjab Governor and UT Administrator, he would often conduct check in government offices unannounced.
He authored two books – ‘Surrender at Dacca: Birth of a Nation’ and ‘An Odyssey in War and Peace: An Autobiography Lt Gen J F R Jacob’.