An IAF helicopter Mi-17V5 with CDS General Bipin Rawat on Board crashed on Wednesday in Tamil Nadu’s Coonoor. In all, 14 people were in the helicopter when it suddenly met with an accident. 13 out of 14 have been confirmed dead in the accident. Among the dead were India’s first Chief of Defence Staff General Bipin Rawat and his wife Madhullika Rawat.
General Rawat was enroute Wellington from the Indian Air Force Base,Sulur. He was going to Defence Services Staff College, Wellington to address students and faculty. At around 12:20 in afternoon, the helicopter crashed in Nilgiri district.
The only survivor of the accident, Group Captain Varun Singh is receiving treatment in an army hospital situated at Wellington.
President, Prime Minister and many other ministers and politicians expressed their grief over the untimely demise of General Bipin Rawat.
The bodies of all the 13 deceased have been kept at army hospital, Wellington. The dead body will be taken to Madras Regimental Centre, Coonoor and then to New Delhi. The death rites of CDS Rawat and his wife will be carried out at Army Cantonment, New Delhi. His dead body is expected to reach New Delhi by today evening. On Friday, the dead bodies will be taken to homes and people will be allowed to pay last tribute and condolence from 12 noon to 2 pm.
Post this, a funeral procession will be carried out from Kamraj Marg to Brar Square crematorium.
General Rawat’s untimely demise is a big shock for the armed forces as well as the entire nation. He was popular for his courageous attitude. He was also a staunch supporter of giving befitting reply to military activities of Pakistan and China.
As soon as the Indian Air Force confirmed the death of General Bipin Rawat, Prime Minister Narendra Modi called an immediate meeting of Cabinet Committee on Security. Defence Minister Rajnath Singh, Home Minister Amit Shah, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar along with National Security Advisor Ajit Doval were present at the meeting.