New Delhi: Chief of Defence Staff Bipin Rawat, his wife Madhulika Rawat and 11 other persons were killed in a chopper crash on Wednesday (December 8). The lone survivor, Gp Capt Varun Singh SC, Directing Staff at DSSC, sustained injuries and is currently under treatment at Military Hospital, Wellington. They were onboard an IAF Mi 17 V5 helicopter which crashed near Coonoor in Tamil Nadu.
As soon as the Indian Air Force confirmed the death of CDS Rawat and 12 other persons, condolence messages started pouring in from all quarters.
PM Narendra Modi tweeted, “Gen Bipin Rawat was an outstanding soldier. A true patriot, he greatly contributed to modernising our armed forces and security apparatus. His insights and perspectives on strategic matters were exceptional. His passing away has saddened me deeply. Om Shanti.”
“As India’s first CDS, Gen Rawat worked on diverse aspects relating to our armed forces including defence reforms. He brought with him a rich experience of serving in the Army. India will never forget his exceptional service,” he added.
Defence Minister Rajnath Singh – 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. General Rawat had served the country with exceptional courage and diligence. As the first Chief of Defence Staff he had prepared plans for jointness of our Armed Forces. My heart goes out to the families of those who lost their loved ones in this accident. Praying for the speedy recovery of Gp Capt Varun Singh, who is currently under treatment at the Military Hospital, Wellington.
Home Minister Amit Shah – A very sad day for the nation as we have lost our CDS, General Bipin Rawat Ji in a very tragic accident. He was one of the bravest soldiers, who has served the motherland with utmost devotion. His exemplary contributions & commitment cannot be put into words. I am deeply pained. I also express my deepest condolences on the sad demise of Mrs Madhulika Rawat and 11 other Armed Forces personnel. My thoughts are with the bereaved families. May God give them the strength to bear this tragic loss. Praying for the speedy recovery of Gp Capt Varun Singh.
President Ram Nath Kovind tweeted, “I am shocked and anguished over the untimely demise of Gen. Bipin Rawat and his wife, Madhulika ji. The nation has lost one of its bravest sons. His four decades of selfless service to the motherland was marked by exceptional gallantry and heroism. My condolences to his family.”
Actor-politician Urmila Motondkar wrote, “RIP General Bipin Rawat, Mrs Madhulika Rawat and 11 others… Deepest condolences to the family. Om Shanti.”
Veteran actor-politician Kamal Haasan shared a photo of Rawat and offered his condolences. “We express our deepest condolences Folded hands,” he said in a tweet.
Filmmaker Ashok Pandit termed the tragedy as unfortunate. “My heartfelt condolences for the fellow passengers of #BipinRawat . It was an unfortunate tragedy for the family of soldiers and the Rawat family as his wife too lost her life in this tragic accident. Om Shanti!,” he wrote.
Expressing his grief, Veteran actor Anupam Kher said he is deeply saddened to hear the passing away of Rawat and other military officers. “Deeply saddened to hear of the passing of CDS #GenBipinRawat, his wife and 11 more military officers. Had the good fortune of meeting #generalRawat many times. He had amazing audacity and unfathomable love for the country. Shaking hands with him, ‘Jai Hind’ would come out naturally from the heart and tongue!.”