Modi hails Philip’s ‘distinguished’ career


FILE PHOTO: Queen Elizabeth II and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi view items from the Royal Collection at Buckingham Palace on the second day of his visit to the UK on November 13, 2015, in London, England. (Photo by Dominic Lipinski - WPA Pool/Getty Images)
FILE PHOTO: Queen Elizabeth II and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi view items from the Royal Collection at Buckingham Palace on the second day of his visit to the UK on November 13, 2015, in London, England. (Photo by Dominic Lipinski - WPA Pool/Getty Images)

INDIAN prime minister Narendra Modi paid tribute on Friday (9) to Prince Philip who visited the former British colony four times, not always helping to mend ties.

Modi praised the “distinguished” military career of Queen Elizabeth II’s husband, who has died at the age of 99.

“My thoughts are with the British people and the Royal Family on the passing away of HRH The Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh,” said the prime minister of the Commonwealth’s biggest nation on Twitter.

“He had a distinguished career in the military and was at the forefront of many community service initiatives. May his soul rest in peace.”

Prince Philip was a nephew of Louis Mountbatten, the last British viceroy of India.

He accompanied the queen on visits to the country in 1959, 1961, 1983 and 1997, when a tour on the 50th anniversary of India’s independence was marred by comments made at a memorial for a 1919 massacre in Amritsar.

The prince sparked controversy by questioning the number of deaths in the Jallianwala Bagh walled gardens where civilians were trapped by British-led forces on April 13, 1919.

An official British toll said 379 were mowed down. Indian estimates were over 1,000 dead.

After the queen said at the site that the killings were a “distressing” episode, Prince Philip made headlines by telling Indian officials that the toll recorded there was “vastly exaggerated”.

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