Bodies of Gen Rawat,
wife identified, last rites
in Delhi on Friday

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NEW DELHI: Prime Minister Narendra Modi will pay last respects to the Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) General Bipin Rawat, his wife and 11 other personnel who lost their lives in a chopper crash in Tamil Nadu on Wednesday at around 9 pm on Thursday.
Defence Minister Rajnath Singh, Minister of State for Defence Ajay Bhatt, National Security Advisor (NSA) Ajit Doval and services chiefs would also be present. The mortal remains of CDS and other Armed Forces personnel will reach Delhi around 8 pm on Thursday.
Some of the family members of the personnel killed in the military aircraft crash will also be present. The sources said that the four bodies including that of General Rawat, his wife and Brigadier LS Lidder have been positively identified.
Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) General Bipin Rawat, his wife Madhulika Rawat and 11 others, who were on board IAF’s Mi-17V5 helicopter, died in the crash on Wednesday.
The last rites will be held in Delhi on Friday with military honours. A funeral procession will start from Kamraj Marg to Brar Square crematorium in Delhi Cantonment on Friday.
The mortal remains were today brought to Madras Regimental Centre from Military Hospital, Wellington in Nilgiris district. People paid floral tribute to the deceased here.
The government today ordered a ‘tri service’ enquiry into the accident.
The enquiry will be headed by Air Marshal Manvendra Singh, Air Officer Commanding-in-Chief Training Command.
Both Houses of Parliament observed two-minutes silence on the demise of 13 people. According to the sources, the black box of the chopper has been recovered. Meanwhile, a team of the state’s Forensic Science Department also visited the crash site.
A total of 14 people were onboard the IAF’s helicopter. Group Captain Varun Singh is the lone survivor of the crash and is presently on life support in Military Hospital, Wellington.
Those who died in the crash include General Rawat, his wife Madhulika Rawat, his Defence Adviser Brigadier Lakhbinder Singh Lidder, Staff Officer Lieutenant Colonel Harjinder Singh and nine other Armed Forces personnel including the Air Force helicopter crew.
Their names are Wing Commander Prithvi Singh Chauhan, Squadron Leader Kuldeep Singh, Junior Warrant Officer Rana Pratap Das, Junior Warrant Officer Arakkal Pradeep, Havildar Satpal Rai, Naik Gursewak Singh, Naik Jitendra Kumar, Lance Naik Vivek Kumar, Lance Naik B Sai Teja.

NEW DELHI:  File Photo of CDS General Bipin Rawat along with his wife Madhulika Rawat

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.

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

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.

“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)

Modi expresses anguish

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

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.

“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.

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)

“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.

President condoles the demise

Condoling the demise of General Bipin Rawat, the Chief of Defence Staff (CDS), President Ram Nath Kovind on Monday termed the former “one of the nation’s bravest sons” and said that General Rawat’s four decades of selfless service to the armed forces was marked by “exceptional gallantry and heroism.”

Bipin Rawat died after a military helicopter crashed in Conoor in Tamil Nadu on Wednesday.”I am shocked and anguished over the untimely demise of Gen. Bipin Rawat and his wife, Madhulika Ji. The nation has lost one of its bravest sons. His four decades of selfless service to the motherland was marked by exceptional gallantry and heroism. My condolences to his family,” tweeted Kovind.

President Kovind further added, “It’s deeply painful for me to learn of the loss of lives in the chopper crash. I join my fellow citizens in paying tributes to each of those who died while performing their duty. My heartfelt condolences to the bereaved families.”

Rajnath Singh condoles

Defence Minister Rajnath Singh on Wednesday condoled the demise of General Bipin Rawat, India’s first Chief of Defence Staff, who died today after a military chopper crashed in Tamil Nadu which killed 13 on board.

Taking to Twitter, Singh said, “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.”

Singh added that 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 further said, “My heart goes out to the families of those who lost their loved ones in this accident. Praying for the speedy recovery of Gp Capt Varun Singh, who is currently under treatment at the Military Hospital, Wellington.”

Pak military leadership

General Nadeem Raza, CJCSC & General Qamar Javed Bajwa, COAS express condolences on tragic death of CDS General Bipin Rawat, his wife and loss of precious lives in a helicopter crash in India.