With his wife and staff, the Chief of Defence Staff General Bipin Rawat was on his way to Defence Services Staff College in Wellington (Tamil Nadu) when his helicopter met with an accident on Wednesday (December 8).
The Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) mourns the Chief of Defence Staff General Bipin Rawat's demise in a helicopter crash near Coonoor in Tamil Nadu on Wednesday (December 8).
"General Bipin Rawat dedicated his life to patriotic duty and led by example. From being awarded the Sword of Honour at the IMA to being appointed the first CDS of the country-Gen Rawat's exemplary service to the nation will be an inspiration for future generations. I join the nation in mourning his tragic passing," said the RSS Sarkaryavah Dattatreya Hosabale.
General Rawat was going to the Defence Services Staff College in Wellington in Tamil Nadu for a lecture when his helicopter met with an accident near Coonoor.
Apart from the Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) General Bipin Rawat and his wife Madhulika Rawat, Brig LS Lidder, Lt Col H Singh, Wg Cdr PS Chauhan, Sqn Ldr K Singh, JWO Das, JWO Pradeep A, Hav Satpal, Nk Gursewak Singh, Nk Jitender, L/Nk Vivek and L/Nk S Teja lost their lives in the crash.
IAF Group Captain Varun Singh, the sole survivor of the IAF helicopter crash, is under treatment at the Military Hospital in Wellington.
Shri Hosabale said, "The sudden demise of Chief of Defense Staff General Bipin Rawat in a helicopter crash is shocking and a great loss for the nation. Under his leadership, the Indian Army set new paradigms of valour."
"In his passing, the country has lost a great security strategist, a true patriot and an able leader. RSS pays heartfelt tributes to General Rawat, his wife and the soldiers who lost their lives in this unfortunate incident", he added.
The Cabinet Committee on Security, led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, met Wednesday evening.
General Rawat took over as the CDS on December 31, 2019, after serving as the army chief for a full three-year term. He held the four-star rank for almost five years, making him the longest-serving four-star general in India.
President Shri Ram Nath Kovind joined the nation in mourning the unfortunate demise of one of her bravest.
"I am shocked and anguished over the untimely demise of Gen. Bipin Rawat and his wife, Madhulika ji. 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. My condolences to his family", Shri Kovind said.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi expressed his grief and anguish, saying, "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."
An Inquiry has been ordered to ascertain the cause of the accident. Defence Minister Rajnath Singh will make a statement in the Lok Sabha and the Rajya Sabha today (December 9).
Shri Rajnath Singh visited the house of General Rawat in Delhi on Wednesday (December 8).
General Rawat's last rites will be performed in Delhi on Friday (December 10). The mortal remains will reach Delhi on Thursday (December 9) evening.