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Indian CDS Gen Rawat, wife and 11 others die in air crash

New Delhi, Dec 08 (ANI): File Photo of CDS General Bipin Rawat along with his wife Madhulika Rawat died in IAF chopper crash in Coonoor on Wednesday. (ANI Photo)

NEW DELHI: India’s Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) General Bipin Rawat, died after a military helicopter crashed in Coonoor in Tamil Nadu on Wednesday, the Indian Air Force said today.
“With deep regret, it has now been ascertained that Gen Bipin Rawat, Mrs Madhulika Rawat and 11 other persons on board have died in the unfortunate accident,” tweeted IAF. Gen Rawat, India’s first CDS was on a visit to the Defence Services Staff College in Wellington to address the faculty and student officers of the Staff Course when his chopper crashed near Coonor in the Nilgiris district.

“Gen Bipin Rawat, Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) was on a visit to Defence Services Staff College, Wellington (Nilgiri Hills) to address the faculty and student officers of the Staff Course today,” the IAF added.
Gen Rawat had taken off from Sulur Airbase for Wellington and was accompanied by his wife Madhulika Rawat, his DA Brigadier LS Lidder, SO Lieutenant Colonel Harjinder Singh, among other defence officials.
“Around noon today, an IAF Mi 17 V5 helicopter with a crew of 4 members carrying the CDS and 9 other passengers met with a tragic accident near Coonoor, TN,” the Indian Air Force said in a tweet.
Group Captain Varun Singh, SC, Directing Staff at DSSC, the sole survivor of the crash, is undergoing treatment for his injuries at Military Hospital in Wellington.
General Rawat was India’s first Chief of Defence Staff. With his appointment in the topmost position in December 2019, he was the one-point advisor to the government matters related to the military including the Army, Navy and the Air Force.

NEW DELHI: Debris of IAF chopper crashed between Coimbatore and Sulur in Tamil Nadu on Wednesday. (ANI Photo)

“Deeply anguished by the sudden demise of Chief of Defence Staff Gen Bipin Rawat, his wife and 11 other Armed Forces personnel in an extremely unfortunate helicopter accident today in Tamil Nadu. His untimely death is an irreparable loss to our Armed Forces and the country,” Defence Minister Rajnath Singh tweeted.
“General Rawat had served the country with exceptional courage and diligence. As the first Chief of Defence Staff he had prepared plans for jointness of our Armed Forces,” Singh added.
A veteran of counterinsurgency warfare, CDS Rawat served in the most difficult terrains including northern and eastern commands.
CDS Rawat was commissioned into the Indian Army in December 1978. He previously served as Chief of the Army Staff from January 2017 to December 2019. (ANI)

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday expressed his deep anguish on the death of Chief of Defence Staff Gen Bipin Rawat in a helicopter crash and said his insights and perspectives on strategic matters were exceptional.
Describing CDS Rawat as “an outstanding soldier” and “a true patriot,” the Prime Minister said he greatly contributed to modernising our armed forces and security apparatus. The Prime Minister also expressed his anguish at the death of others on board the helicopter including Gen Rawat’s wife and defence officers.

NEW DELHI: Prime Minister Narendra Modi chaired the Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS), in New Delhi on Wednesday. (ANI Photo)

“I am deeply anguished by the helicopter crash in Tamil Nadu in which we have lost Gen Bipin Rawat, his wife and other personnel of the Armed Forces. They served India with utmost diligence. My thoughts are with the bereaved families,” the Prime Minister said in a tweet.
“Gen Bipin Rawat was an outstanding soldier. A true patriot, he greatly contributed to modernising our armed forces and security apparatus. His insights and perspectives on strategic matters were exceptional. His passing away has saddened me deeply. Om Shanti,” he added.
PM Modi said that as India’s first CDS, Gen Rawat worked on diverse aspects relating to the country’s armed forces including defence reforms.
“He brought with him a rich experience of serving in the Army. India will never forget his exceptional service,” the Prime Minister said.

The military helicopter crashed near Coonoor in Tamil Nadu on Wednesday.
A veteran of counterinsurgency warfare, CDS Rawat had served in difficult terrains including northern and eastern commands.

NEW DELHI: Prime Minister Narendra Modi chaired the Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS), in New Delhi on Wednesday. Union Home Minister Amit Shah, Union Defence Minister Rajnath Singh, Union Minister for Finance and Corporate Affairs Nirmala Sitharaman, NSA Ajit Doval and others also present. (ANI Photo)

CDS Rawat was commissioned into the Indian Army in December 1978. He served as Chief of the Army Staff from December 31, 2016 to December 31, 2019.

General MM Naravane briefs

Army Chief General MM Naravane on Wednesday briefed Defence Minister Rajnath Singh over the incident of the crash of a military chopper in Tamil Nadu, that was carrying Chief of Defence Staff General Bipin Rawat and 13 others.
Defence Minister also visited CDS Rawat residence in the national capital today. General Rawat was on his way from the Sulur IAF Station to the Defence Services Staff College in Wellington in Coonoor when the IAF Mi-17V5 helicopter in which he was travelling crashed in a forested area in the Nilgiris district around 12:20 pm.

NEW DELHI: Debris of IAF chopper crashed between Coimbatore and Sulur in Tamil Nadu on Wednesday. (ANI Photo)

According to the sources, 13 of the 14 personnel involved in the CDS chopper crash have been confirmed dead.
Rawat’s wife Madhulika Rawat, his DA Brigadier LS Lidder, his SO Lieutenant Colonel Harjinder Singh were among the 14 people, including five crew members on board the chopper that crashed.
The Indian Air Force has issued a list of names of General Rawat’s staff who were also on-board the crashed chopper. Apart from CDS General Rawat and his wife Madhulika Rawat, Brigadier LS Lidder, Lieutenant Colonel Harjinder Singh, NK Gursewak Singh, NK Jitendra Kumar, L/NK Vivek Kumar, L/NK B Sai Teja and Hav Satpal are among those on board the aircraft. The IAF has ordered an inquiry into the accident.

Tamil Nadu State forest minister K Ramachandran said that five of the 14 people on board the chopper carrying Chief of Defence Staff chief General Bipin Rawat, which crashed near Coonoor in the nearby hilly in the Nilgiris district on Wednesday have been confirmed killed, while two others are critically injured.
Earlier in the day, the Indian Air Force confirmed that General Rawat was on board an IAF Mi-17V5 helicopter that met with an accident while going from Sulur to Wellington in Tamil Nadu.

Rajnath Singh visits CDS Bipin Rawat’s residence

Defence Minister Rajnath Singh visited the residence of Chief of Defence Staff Bipin Rawat in New Delhi, after an Army helicopter carrying him along with senior defence officers crashed near Coonor in Tamil Nadu this afternoon.
The Indian Air Force confirmed that CDS Rawat was on- board an IAF Mi-17V5 helicopter that met with an accident earlier today between Coimbatore and Sulur. Rajnath Singh has briefed Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the incident and the Government is likely to issue a statement in the Parliament about the crash.
The IAF has ordered an inquiry into the accident.
CDS Rawat was accompanied by his wife and senior defence officials were also on-board the chopper.

Air Chief Marshal VR Chaudhari rushes for Sulur

Chief of Air Staff, Air Chief Marshal VR Chaudhari has rushed for Sulur Airbase after a military chopper carrying Chief of Defence Staff General Bipin Rawat and others crashed near Coonoor in Tamil Nadu on Wednesday afternoon, sources said.
Earlier in the day, the Indian Air Force confirmed that General Rawat was on-board an IAF Mi-17V5 helicopter that met with an accident while going from Sulur to Wellington in Tamil Nadu. There were 14 people, including nine officials of the CDS, on-board when the helicopter crashed. (ANI)