Condolence motion in Odisha Assembly for CDS Gen Bipin Rawat, House adjourned till 4 pm

Bhubaneswar: Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik moved condolence motion in the Odisha Assembly for Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) General Bipin Rawat, his wife Madhulika Rawat, and 11 others who lost their lives in the chopper crash near Coonoor on Thursday afternoon.

A one-minute silent prayer was offered at the house to pay their respects to the deceased. Following the condolence motion, Speaker Surjya Narayan Patro adjourned the House till 4 PM.

Moving an obituary reference in the Assembly, Chief Minister and leader of the House Naveen Patnaik said: “He (Gen Rawat) had an extremely distinguished career of over four decades of selfless service marked by exceptional gallantry. He was conferred with the Param Vishisht Seva Medal, Ati Vishisht Seva Medal, Vishisht Seva Medal, and many prestigious awards. He expired on December 8, 2021, at the age of 63.”

Terming the sad demise of General Rawat and all 11 other armed personnel an “irreparable” loss to the nation, Patnaik said: “Their outstanding service to our nation will always be remembered.”

General Bipin Rawat was born in Pauri, present-day Uttarakhand, on the 16th of March 1958. He was commissioned into the 5th Battalion of the 11th Gorkha Rifles on the 16th of December 1978 and went on to become the 26th Chief of the Indian Army and later served as the first Chief of Defence Staff of the Indian Armed Forces, said Chief Minister.

It is to be noted that, the crash took place near Coonoor of Tamil Nadu while General Rawat had taken a flight from Delhi to Sulur in Coimbatore. 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.

Sole survivor, Group Captain Varun Singh, is being treated for 90 percent burn injuries, said Indian Air Force.

The Indian Air Force team has ordered an investigation into how and under what circumstances the Air Force chopper crashed in Tamil Nadu.

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