CDS Gen Bipin Rawat’s demise: Nation pays homage, IAF orders probe


An Air Force chopper crash in which India’s first Chief of Defence Staff Gen Bipin Rawat, his wife and 11 other persons lost their lives on Wednesday afternoon, has come as a big shock to the government and defence forces. The IAF has ordered an inquiry into the accident. Even as former army officers and defence experts remained busy discussing what went wrong and aircraft’s reliability, condolence messages kept pouring in from across the country. Rich tributes were paid by President RamNath Kovind, Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chiefs of defence forces.

In a statement , Army Chief General MM Naravane and all ranks of the Indian Army expressed 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.

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.

The deceased 11 military personnel accompanying the CDS and President DWWA on the way to Wellington will also be equally missed by everyone. They performed their duties as per the best traditions of the Armed Forces, the statement said.

Here is the list of people who were on board the chopper that crashed:

Gen Bipin Rawat, Madhulika Rawat, Brig LS Lidder, SM,VSM ,Lt Col Harjinder Singh, Wg Cdr PS Chauhan, Sqn Ldr K Singh, JWO Das, JWO Pradeep A, Hav Satpal, NK Gursewak Singh, NK Jitender Kumar, Vivek Kumar, L/Nk Sai Teja

Five crew members were also there in the chopper.

The cremation of Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) General Bipin Rawat and his wife Madhulika Rawat is scheduled to take place on Friday (December 10) in Delhi Cantonment. Their mortal remains are expected to arrive in the national capital in a military plane by Thursday evening.