General Bipin Rawat chopper crash in Coonoor

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With deep regret, it has now been ascertained that General Bipin Rawat, Mrs Madhulika Rawat and 11 other persons on board have died in the unfortunate accident,” the Indian Force said in a tweet.

The crash happened at a distance of about 10 km from the helipad where it was to land. Earlier today, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh informed Prime Minister Narendra Modi about the incident. According to sources, Singh will brief Parliament on the incident tomorrow. President Ram Nath Kovind, Prime Minister Narender Modi, Union Home Minister Amit Shah and senior Congress leader Rahul Gandhi were among the many who offered their condolences

Vice President Mr Venkaiah Naidu said, “General Rawat added great strength to our defence capabilities and made a stellar contribution to strengthening our national security. His outstanding service to our nation will always be remembered.”

As the first Chief of Defence Staff he had prepared plans for jointness of our armed forces,” he said. “My heart goes out to the families of those who lost their loved ones in this accident. Praying for the speedy recovery of Gp Capt Varun Singh, who is currently under treatment at the Military Hospital, Wellington,” Singh said.

General MM Naravane and all ranks of the Indian Army express their deepest grief and sorrow over the untimely demise of General Bipin Rawat, Chief of Defence Staff, Mrs Madhulika Rawat, President DWWA and 11 other military personnel in an unfortunate air accident today on 08 Dec,” it said.

It added, General Bipin Rawat, India’s first CDS, was a visionary who initiated far reaching reforms in the Indian military’s higher defence organisation. He was instrumental in creating the foundation of India’s joint theatre commands and giving impetus to the increased indigenisation of military equipment, a legacy which will be carried on and strengthened by successive generations. Mrs Madhulika Rawat, also the former President AWWA was an epitome of grace whose presence will be missed by everyone.”

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