Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) Bipin Rawat and his wife, Madhulika Rawat, died on Wednesday, along with 11 other persons, after an Army chopper carrying them crashed in the Nilgiri Hills in Tamil Nadu. Confirming the news, the Indian Air Force tweeted, “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.”
As the CDS, Rawat had overseen the implementation of an ambitious tri-services modernisation plan to bring synergy among the armed forces and enhance their overall combat capabilities.
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.
— Indian Air Force (@IAF_MCC) December 8, 2021
Defence minister Rajnath Singh tweeted that he is “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”.
The crash took place shortly after the Mi-series chopper took off from the army base in Sulur.
Earlier confirming the crash, the IAF tweeted: “An IAF Mi-17V5 helicopter, with CDS Gen Bipin Rawat on board, met with an accident today near Coonoor, Tamil Nadu. An Inquiry has been ordered to ascertain the cause of the accident.”
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.
— Rajnath Singh (@rajnathsingh) December 8, 2021
Rawat’s wife was a native of Shahdol in Madhya Pradesh, and she was the daughter of late politician Mrigendra Singh.
In a series of tweets, the IAF said the Gen Bipin Rawat was on a visit to Defence Services Staff College, Wellington (Nilgiri Hills) to address the faculty and student officers of the Staff Course today.
“Around noon today, an IAF Mi 17 V5 helicopter with a crew of 4 members carrying the CDS and 9 other passengers met with a tragic accident near Coonoor, TN,” it tweeted. “Gp Capt Varun Singh SC, Directing Staff at DSSC with injuries is currently under treatment at Military Hospital, Wellington,” the tweet added.
Army Chief Gen MM Naravane and all ranks of the force paid heartfelt condolences on the untimely demise of Gen Rawat, his wife and 11 others. “The dynamic and inspiring leadership of General Bipin Rawat shall remain eternally etched in our memories. The #IndianArmedForces will forever remain indebted to his invaluable contributions,” the army tweeted.
Source: News 18