India’s top military leader Gen Bipin Rawat dies in air crash

India's top military leader Gen Bipin Rawat dies in air crash

ISLAMABAD, Dec 8 (APP): India’s Chief of Defence Staff General Bipin Rawat, his wife Mrs Madhulika Rawat and 11 other persons died as their Air Force Mi-17 helicopter crashed near Coonoor, Tamil Nadu on Wednesday.

The Indian Air Force announced the news of his death hours after the news of the crash of the helicopter went viral on of the news channels. Locals reported they saw the helicopter engulfed in flames before crashing into the forest, around 10 kms from the nearest road.

The Indian Air Force said that Group Captain Varun Singh SC, Directing Staff at DSSC with injuries was currently under treatment at Military Hospital, Wellington. Defence assistant, security commandos and an IAF pilot were on board the Mi-series chopper when it crashed. An inquiry into the crash has been ordered, the Air Force said.

General 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 Air Force said.

General Bipin Rawat was the first officer of the Indian armed forces to hold the post of the Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) in 2019. The newly created post was part of restructuring of India’s armed forces. General Bipin Rawat was an officer from the Gorkha Regiment. He was the fourth officer from the Gorkha Regiment to became the Chief of Army Staff.

India's top military leader Gen Bipin Rawat dies in air crash

General Nadeem Raza, Chairaman Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee and General Qamar Javed Bajwa, Chief of Army Staff expressed their condolences on the tragic death of CDS General Bipin Rawat, his wife and other precious lives in a helicopter crash in India.

India's top military leader Gen Bipin Rawat dies in air crash

Air Chief Marshal Zaheer Ahmed Baber Sidhu, NI(M) Chief of the Air Staff Pakistan Air Force also expressed his condolences on the tragic death of Indian CDS Gen Bipin Rawat, his spouse, and 11 other passengers and crew members in the helicopter crash.

Video footage from the site showed military personnel carrying injured General Bipin Rawat away from the burning wreckage. However, hours later the IAF confirmed his demise.

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi in a tweet described General Bipin Rawat as 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.”

ANI reported that the mortal remains of Chief of Defence Staff General Bipin Rawat and his wife along with other Armed Forces personnel killed in the chopper crash were expected to arrive in Delhi by evening tomorrow.

According to Shiv Aroor, Executive Editor India Today, General Bipin Rawat had narrowly escaped a Cheetah helicopter crash, six years back.

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