A tough and decisive officer, like many military top brasses, Gen Rawat had a very good sense of humour and would even joke about the media's obsession with the 'China angle' and craze for sound bytes.
New Delhi: There were 14 people altogether in the ill-fated chopper that crashed amid Nilgiri Hills in Tamil Nadu on December 8, killing among others India's first CDS Gen Bipin Rawat.
There were 13 casualties, and one officer survived who was shifted to a hospital.
"We pray for the speedy recovery of Gp. Capt Varun Singh who is presently hospitalised," said a tweet from the Indian Air Force official handle.
Group Captain Varun Singh is being treated for severe burn injuries at the military hospital in Wellington. He won the Shaurya Chakra in August for his courage in handling his aircraft after it was hit by major technical issues during a sortie last year. He landed his Tejas fighter safely despite the mid-air emergency.
Along with Gen Rawat, his wife, Mrs Madhulika Rawat, also expired. Mrs Neeta Chaudhari, President of Air Force Women Welfare Association and all Sanginis expressed their deepest condolences on the untimely demise of Mrs Madhulika, Gen Rawat and 11 other Service personnel. "In this hour, we stand behind the ladies and families who have lost their dear ones in this unfortunate crash."
Madhulika Rawat came from a princely family:
The late wife of Gen Bipin Rawat came from a princely family and was the second daughter of Mrigendra Singh.
They belonged to Riwa ancestral family, and sources say Gen Rawat and Madhulika were married in 1985. Madhulika-s father was a Congressman and represented the Sohagpur assembly under Hoshangabad district in Madhya Pradesh twice in 1967 and 1972.
Rawat's sense of humour:
A tough and decisive officer, like many military top brasses, Gen Rawat had a very good sense of humour. He was known to be jovial with scribes and would even joke about the media's obsession with China's angle and craze for sound bytes.
Also popularly known for donning the Gorkha hat, Gen Rawat often would say in our regiment, it is best that you think like a Gorkha. He used to speak about the hat he had used for four decades. Thus, on becoming CDS, as he had given up the army hat, once he told newspersons-"My head is feeling lighter."
In 2015, he had survived a helicopter crash near Dimapur in Nagaland. Of course, he had sustained injuries.