Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday said he is deeply saddened by the passing away of India's first Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) General Bipin Rawat, whom he described as an "outstanding soldier" and a "true patriot", in a chopper crash.
The Indian Air Force on Wednesday evening confirmed that Gen Rawat and his wife Madhulika Rawat were among the 13 persons who died in the tragic helicopter crash in Tamil Nadu.
Minutes after the announcement, PM Modi tweeted, "Gen Bipin Rawat was an outstanding soldier. A true patriot, he greatly contributed to modernising our armed forces and security apparatus..."
President Ram Nath Kovind said, "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."
Defence Minister Rajnath Singh called Gen Rawat's death "an irreparable loss to our Armed Forces and the country".
Check out other tributes for the country's first CDS:
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