Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Friday paid his last respects to Chief of Defence Staff General Bipin Rawat and his wife Madhulika Rawat, who were among the 13 people who died in the military helicopter crash in Tamil Nadu’s Coonnor on Wednesday. The Union Home Minister visited the residence of the CDS and laid a wreath on their mortal remains here. Uttarakhand Chief Minister Pushkar Singh Dhami also paid floral tributes to the CDS and his wife.
5/11 Gorkha Rifles are looking after all the arrangements of the last rites of General Rawat who was commissioned in the unit and also went ahead to command it. The last rites of General Rawat will be performed later in the day with full military honours. The funeral procession will start from Kamraj Marg and reach Brar Square crematorium in Delhi Cantonment. An IAF chopper crash near Tamil Nadu’s Coonoor on Wednesday claimed the lives of 13 people including CDS Rawat and his wife Madhulika Rawat. Apart from General Rawat and his wife, his defence adviser Brig LS Lidder and Staff Officer Lieutenant Colonel Harjinder Singh also died in the crash.
Meanwhile, Brig LS Lidder was laid to rest earlier today. Other nine defence forces personnel who died in the chopper crash are Wing Commander Prithvi Singh Chauhan, Squadron Leader Kuldeep Singh, Junior Warrant Officer Rana Pratap Das, Junior Warrant Officer Arakkal Pradeep, Havildar Satpal Rai, Naik Gursewak Singh, Naik Jitendra Kumar, Lance Naik Vivek Kumar and Lance Naik B Sai Teja. The bodies of the victims were flown from Sulur near Coimbatore to the Palam air base Thursday evening in caskets wrapped in the Tricolour. Group Captain Varun Singh, the lone survivor in the crash, has been shifted to Air Force Command hospital at Bengaluru for further treatment.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh, National Security Advisor Ajit Doval and Union Minister Smriti Irani visited Palam airbase and paid their last respects to the deceased. The Centre has ordered a ‘tri service’ inquiry into the accident. The inquiry will be headed by Air Marshal Manvendra Singh, Air Officer Commanding-in-Chief Training Command. According to the sources, the black box of the chopper has been recovered from the crash site. A team of Tamil Nadu’s Forensic Science Department also visited the crash site.