CDS General Bipin Rawat no more
CDS chief General Bipin Rawat, wife Madhulika Rawat, and 11 other persons who were on board ill-fated IAF chopper Mi-17V5 which crash-landed today in Tamil Nadu have died in the incident. The helicopter crashed in the Katteri-Nanchappanchathram area near Coonoor in the hilly Nilgiris district.
The general holds India’s highest military rank — the Chief of Defence Staff. He is the first to hold the position, which the Indian government established in 2019. Several generations of his family served in the Indian armed forces. He has commanded forces in Indian-administered Kashmir and along the Line of Actual Control bordering China.
Reportedly, the chopper is said to have crashed in a forest area, due to poor visibility following heavy fog. The helicopter, carrying a few senior officials, was on its way from Sulur in Coimbatore to Defence Staff College in Wellington where Gen Rawat, along with Chief of Army Staff M M Naravane, was slated to participate in an event.
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.
— Indian Air Force (@IAF_MCC) December 8, 2021
The lone survivor of this fateful crash, Gp Capt Varun Singh SC, is currently under treatment at Military Hospital.
The Indian Air Force’s official Twitter handle said, “An IAF Mi-17V5 helicopter, with CDS Gen Bipin Rawat on board, met with an accident today near Coonoor, Tamil Nadu. An inquiry has been ordered to ascertain the cause of the accident.”
PM Modi offered his condolences. He tweeted, “Gen Bipin Rawat was an outstanding soldier. A true patriot, he greatly contributed to modernizing our armed forces and security apparatus. His insights and perspectives on strategic matters were exceptional. His passing away has saddened me deeply. Om Shanti. As India’s first CDS, Gen Rawat worked on diverse aspects relating to our armed forces including defence reforms. He brought with him a rich experience of serving in the Army. India will never forget his exceptional service.”
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.
— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) December 8, 2021
The Union Home Minister, Amit Shah tweeted, “A very sad day for the nation as we have lost our CDS, General Bipin Rawat Ji in a very tragic accident. He was one of the bravest soldiers, who has served the motherland with utmost devotion. His exemplary contributions & commitment cannot be put into words. I am deeply pained. I also express my deepest condolences on the sad demise of Mrs. Madhulika Rawat and 11 other Armed Forces personnel. My thoughts are with the bereaved families. May God give them the strength to bear this tragic loss. Praying for the speedy recovery of Gp Capt Varun Singh.”
A very sad day for the nation as we have lost our CDS, General Bipin Rawat Ji in a very tragic accident. He was one of the bravest soldiers, who has served the motherland with utmost devotion. His exemplary contributions & commitment cannot be put into words. I am deeply pained.
— Amit Shah (@AmitShah) December 8, 2021
The Prime Minister-led Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS) is scheduled to meet at 6:30 pm to discuss the situation arising out of the crash of a military helicopter with Chief of Defence Staff Gen Bipin Rawat and several other officers on board. The meeting will be attended by Defence Minister Rajnath Singh and Home Minister Amit Shah among others. Sources said Singh has already briefed Prime Minister Narendra Modi about the crash and the Indian Air Force chief has been asked to reach the site. It is learned that the top military brass also met following the accident. The defence minister visited the residence of Rawat and spoke to his daughter. Singh is likely to make a statement on the incident in Parliament on Thursday.
Deeply shocked at tragic demise of CDS General Bipin Rawat and his wife.
We worked closely together in the last few years. It is a huge loss to the nation.
— Dr. S. Jaishankar (@DrSJaishankar) December 8, 2021
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