Chennai: Chief of Defence Staff Bipin Rawat died on Wednesday after the military chopper (IAF Mi-17 V5) carrying him and 13 others crashed shortly after take-off in Tamil Nadu.
Conforming about Rawat’s death the Indian Air Force said, “With deep regret, it has now been ascertained that Gen Bipin Rawat, Mrs Madhulika Rawat and 11 other persons on board have died in the unfortunate accident.”
The crash took place near Coonoor of Tamil Nadu while General Rawat had taken a flight from Delhi to Sulur in Coimbatore earlier today.
The chopper mishap took place shortly after the Russian-made Mi-17 V5 chopper took off from the Air Force base in Sulur for Wellington in the Nilgiri Hills.
Brigadier L.S. Lidder, Lieutenant Colonel Harjinder Singh, Naik Gursewak Singh, Naik Jitender Kumar, Naik Vivek Kumar, Naik B. Sai Teja, Havaldar Satpal and pilots were among 14 others who were on board.
#WATCH | Latest visuals from military chopper crash site in Tamil Nadu.
CDS Gen Bipin Rawat, his staff and some family members were on board chopper. pic.twitter.com/H3ewiYlVMU
— ANI (@ANI) December 8, 2021
Rawat was appointed as the first CDS of India on December 30, 2019 and assumed office from January 1, 2020. Prior to taking over as the CDS, he served as 57th and last Chairman of the Chiefs of Staff Committee as well as 26th Chief of Army Staff of the Indian Army.
Meanwhile, condolences poured in for the sad demise of Rawat. From President Ram Nath Kovind to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union Ministers to Chief Ministers all expressed their deep condolences over the death of the CDS.
Rawat was born on March 16, 1958 in Pauri, Uttarakhand. He belonged to the family which had been serving in the Indian Army for multiple generations. While his father Laxman Singh Rawat was a Lieutenant General his mother was the daughter of Kishan Singh Parmar, the ex-Member of the Legislative Assembly (MLA) from Uttarkashi.
Rawat attended Cambrian Hall School in Dehradun and the St. Edward’s School, Shimla. He then joined the National Defence Academy, Khadakwasla and the Indian Military Academy, Dehradun, where he was awarded the ‘Sword of Honour’.
Rawat is also a graduate of the Defence Services Staff College (DSSC), Wellington and the Higher Command Course at the United States Army Command and General Staff College at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas. From his tenure at the DSSC, he has a MPhil degree in Defence Studies as well as diplomas in Management and Computer Studies from University of Madras. In 2011, he was awarded a Doctorate of Philosophy by Chaudhary Charan Singh University, Meerut for his research on military-media strategic studies.
During his career span of over 40 years, he has been awarded for gallantry and distinguished service with the Param Vishisht Seva Medal, Uttam Yudh Seva Medal, Ati Vishisht Seva Medal, Yudh Seva Medal, Sena Medal, Vishisht Seva Medal and the COAS Commendation on two occasions and the Army Commander’s Commendation.
(With inputs from en.wikipedia.org)