New Delhi, Dec 8: Chief of Defence Staff Bipin Rawat, his wife were among 13 killed after an IAF chopper crashed near Coonoor in Tamil Nadu on Wednesday.
“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.
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, Madhulika Rawat, President DWWA and 11 other military personnel in an unfortunate air accident today on 08 Dec, said a the statement by Indian Army.
"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," added the statement.
Mrs Madhulika Rawat, also the former President AWWA was an epitome of grace whose presence will be missed by everyone, said the statement.
Gen Bipin Rawat was an outstanding soldier. A true patriot, he greatly contributed to modernising our armed forces and security apparatus, tweeted Prime Minister Narendra Modi after India's first CDS's death.