The Indian Air Force on Friday announced that it has constituted a tri-service Court of Inquiry to investigate the cause of the military chopper crash which claimed the lives of 13 people including Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) General Bipin Rawat. An IAF chopper crashed near Tamil Nadu’s Coonoor on Wednesday claiming the lives of 13 people out of 14 onboard including CDS Rawat, his wife Madhulika Rawat, and his defence adviser Brigadier Lidder. Other 10 defence forces personnel who died in the chopper crash are Staff Officer Lieutenant Colonel Harjinder Singh, 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 IAF has also urged people to avoid ‘uninformed speculation’ over the incident. “IAF has constituted a tri-service Court of Inquiry to investigate the cause of the tragic helicopter accident on December 8. The inquiry would be completed expeditiously and facts brought out. Till then, to respect the dignity of the deceased, uninformed speculation may be avoided,” IAF tweeted. 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.
Meanwhile, CDS General Rawat will be cremated later in the day today with full military honours.