PM Modi, Rajnath likely to pay tributes to Rawat, others at Palam airport

NEW DELHI : Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Defence Minister Rajnath Singh will pay respects to CDS Bipin Rawat and other Armed Forces personnel, who were killed in the chopper crash in Tamil Nadu’s Coonoor, at around 9 PM today. National Security Advisor Ajit Doval and three Services chiefs will also be present.

According to ANI, the mortal remains of CDS and other Armed Forces personnel will reach Delhi around 8 pm today. Some of the family members of the personnel killed in the military aircraft crash will also be present.

Earlier today, Rajnath Singh briefed Parliament on the chopper crash and said that Rawat would be cremated with full military honours. He also announced that a tri-service enquiry has been ordered by the IAF into the crash.

Meanwhile, Group Captain Varun Singh, decorated with the Shaurya Chakra on Independence Day this year, who was the lone survivor of the crash, is in critical condition and is being moved to the Command Hospital in Bangalore.

The nation’s most senior military officer, Chief of Defence Staff General Bipin Rawat, his wife Madhulika Rawat and 11 other people on board an Indian Air Force helicopter were killed in a crash near Coonoor in Tamil Nadu shortly after noon Wednesday.

Group Captain Varun Singh, decorated with the Shaurya Chakra on Independence Day this year, was the lone survivor and was being treated for injuries at the Military Hospital in Wellington. General Rawat, 63, was on his way to the Defence Services Staff College in Wellington where he was to deliver a lecture. His wife, president of the Defence Wives Welfare Association, was accompanying him along with members of the CDS staff. Bipin Rawat is the country’s first Chief of Defence Staff appointed on January 1, 2020. He was appointed the head of the newly created Department of Military Affairs in one of the most significant reorganisation in Defence Ministry in decades. Rawat had served as the Chief of the Army for three years before taking over as the CDS.

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