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Gen Bipin Rawat, India's first CDS, passes away in chopper crash, cremation to be done on Friday

Gen Bipin Rawat, India's first CDS, passes away in chopper crash, cremation to be done on Friday

The mortal remains of Gen Rawat and his wife are expected to arrive in the national capital in a military plane by tomorrow evening.

CDS Gen Bipin Rawat CDS Gen Bipin Rawat

India's first Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) General Bipin Rawat has passed away after meeting with a tragic helicopter crash near Coonoor in Nilgiris district in Tamil Nadu around 12:20 pm on Wednesday, the Indian Air Force confirmed. He is among the 13 other occupants of the chopper who have died.

Gen Rawat was on board an IAF Mi 17 V5 helicopter along with his wife Madhulika Rawat, Defence Assistant, security commandos and IAF pilots. He was on his way from the Sulur IAF Station to the Defence Services Staff College in Wellington in Coonoor.

Confirming the news of his death, IAF tweeted, "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."

Also read: IAF chopper crash: Here's everything you want to know about the advanced transport helicopter Mi17V5

The armed force also informed that Gp Capt Varun Singh SC, Directing Staff at DSSC with injuries is currently under treatment at Military Hospital, Wellington.

To recall, the injured Indian Air Force’s Group Captain Varun Singh was awarded Shaurya Chakra on this year’s Independence Day for saving his LCA Tejas fighter aircraft during an aerial emergency in 2020.

Also Read: Who was Bipin Rawat, India's first Chief of Defence Staff

In a later development, it was noted that the cremation of Gen Rawat and his wife will be done on Friday (December 10) in Delhi Cantonment. Their mortal remains are expected to arrive in the national capital in a military plane by tomorrow evening.

Additionally, the bodies would be brought to late Gen Rawat's residence on Friday and people would be allowed to pay last respect from 11 am to 2 pm, followed by a funeral procession which will start from Kamraj Marg to Brar Square crematorium in Delhi Cantonment.

As the news broke, Prime Minister Narendra Modi expressed anguish over the demise of country's first CDS, his wife and 11 others in the IAF chopper crash. Taking to Twitter, he said, "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."

"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," the prime minister further tweeted.

President Ram Nath Kovind also took to Twitter to condole Gen Rawat's death.

Defence Minister Rajnath Singh also expressed that CDS' untimely death is "irreplaceable loss to our Armed Forces."

Home Minister Amit Shah conveyed that CDS Gen Rawat was "one of the bravest soldiers, who has served the motherland with utmost devotion."

Around noon today, an IAF helicopter with the Gen Rawat and 13 others on board crashed in Tamil Nadu in the mishap that happened reportedly due to low visibility owing to foggy conditions.

The passengers were CDS Gen Bipin Rawat, his wife Madhulika Rawat, Brig LS Lidder, Lt Col Harjinder Singh, NK Gursewak Singh, NK Jitendra Kr, L/Naik Vivek Kumar, L/Naik B Sai Teja and Hav Satpal, news agency ANI had tweeted.

The IAF had also said a Court of Inquiry had been ordered into the accident, involving a Mi-17VH chopper that took off from the Sulur IAF Station in nearby Coimbatore.