On December 8, Chief of Defence Staff Shri Bipin Rawat died after an Air Force helicopter carrying him and 11 other defence officials crashed in Tamil Nadu. General Rawat’s wife, Madhulika Rawat, was also with him in the helicopter and died in the crash. The crash took place shortly after Mi-17 V5 chopper took off from the air force base in Sulur, Coimbatore, for Wellington in the Nilgiri Hills. 11 other officials who died were Brigadier L S Lidder, Lt. Col. Harjinder Singh, Wing Commander Prithvi Singh Chauhan, Squadron Leader Kuldeep, JWO Pradeep, JWO Das, Naik Gursewak Singh, Naik Jitendra Kumar, Lance Naik Vivek Kumar, Lance Naik B Sai Teja, and Havildar Satpal.
President of India, Shri Ram Nath Kovind, expressed shock and anguish over the tragic demise. He said in a tweet, “I am shocked and anguished over the untimely demise of General 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 were marked by exceptional gallantry and heroism. My condolences to his family, ” he added.
PM Shri Narendra Modi expressing deep grief over the demise of Gen. Bipin Rawat, his wife, and other personnel of the Armed Forces, said in a series of tweets, “I am deeply anguished by the helicopter crash in Tamil Nadu in which we lost Gen. Bipin Rawat, his wife and other personnel of the Armed Forces. They served India with the utmost diligence. My thoughts are with the bereaved families. 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.”
“As India’s first CDS, Gen. Rawat worked on diverse aspects relating to our armed forces, including defence reforms. He brought with him a rich experience of serving in the Army. India will never forget his exceptional service.”
In expressing condolences, BJP National President Shri JP Nadda said in a tweet, “Deeply pained by the sudden demise of CDS Gen. Bipin Rawat, his wife & 11 other armed forces personnel in an unfortunate helicopter accident today in Tamil Nadu.” A huge loss to the nation. I salute Gen. Rawat for his outstanding services. My heartfelt condolences to the bereaved families. ”
Union Home Minister Shri Amit Shah also expressed condolences on the demise of CDS General Bipin Rawat, his wife and 11 others. It is a very sad day for the nation as we have lost our CDS, General Bipin Rawat Ji, in a very tragic accident. He was one of the bravest soldiers who had served the motherland with utmost devotion. His exemplary contributions and commitment cannot be put into words. I am deeply pained, “Shri Shah said in a tweet.
Shri Shah added, “I also express my deepest condolences on the sad demise of Mrs. Madhulika Rawat and 11 other Armed Forces personnel. My thoughts are with the bereaved families. May God give them the strength to bear this tragic loss.We are praying for the speedy recovery of Gp Capt Varun Singh. ”
Expressing condolences, Defence Minister Shri Rajnath Singh said, ” Deeply anguished by the sudden demise of Chief of Defence Staff Gen Bipin Rawat, his wife, and 11 other armed forces personnel in an extremely unfortunate helicopter accident today in Tamil Nadu.” His untimely death is an irreparable loss to our Armed Forces and the country. General Rawat had served the country with exceptional courage and diligence. As the first Chief of Defence Staff, he prepared plans for the jointness of our Armed Forces. My heart goes out to those families 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.