GEN BIPIN RAWAT (16 March 1958 – 8 December 2021)

The Last Salute
GEN BIPIN RAWAT (16 March 1958 – 8 December 2021)

COONOOR (TN): Chief of Defence Staff General Bipin Rawat, his wife and 11 others were on Wednesday killed as an IAF chopper carrying them crashed near here in Tamil Nadu. The pilot of the ill-fated helicopter MI-17V5 was the lone survivor among the 14 people on board the chopper that crashed in a valley of Coonoor after hitting trees at around noon, Indian Air Force and local officials said.

Gen Rawat, the 63-year-old first CDS of the country, was on a visit to Defence Services Staff College, Wellington (Nilgiri Hills) to address the faculty and student officers of the Staff Course, the IAF spokesman said.

“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,” the spokesman said.

“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,” the IAF spokesman said, confirming the fears that lingered through the afternoon after the crash.

Gp Capt Varun Singh SC, Directing Staff at DSSC with injuries is currently under treatment at Military Hospital, Wellington, he said.

Defence Minister Rajnath Singh, while condoling the demise, said it was an “irreparable loss” to the armed forces and the country. “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,” Singh tweeted. “His untimely death is an irreparable loss to our Armed Forces and the country,” he added.

PM condoles CDS Bipin Rawat’s death

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday condoled the death of Chief of Defence Staff General Bipin Rawat, calling him an outstanding soldier and a true patriot. “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,” PM Modi said in a statement on Twitter.


Big Loss......

This is a very tragic and sad news. I am very disturbed since I heard of this crash. It is a immense loss to the nation and a big personal loss to me. I am still in state of shock as something unimaginable has happened. I have had the privilege of working with Gen Rawat as his medical officer when he was the vice chief of the army staff.

The demise of Gen Rawat is a huge loss to the nation. His role in establishing the integrated defense force is phenomenal. He has done lot of work for the same. He was a forthright officer, very sincere and hardworking. He was well supported by his wife Madulika. I am also saddened by the news of her demise. When I retired from the army she organised a special lunch for me. She was more like a friend. I pray that their souls rest in peace and God gives strength to their daughters to bear the loss. - Lt Gen (Retd) Dr. Madhuri Kanitkar, Vice Chancellor, MUHS, Nashik

Deeply saddened

General Rawat was the country’s first Chief of Defense Staff, the head of all three forces. He had serious responsibilities on his shoulder. He accomplished various missions during his tenure. He played a pivotal role in modernizing the army first and consolidating all three forces.

It was the country’s first appointment to the post of CDS, and through his work, he has set a mark for the future generation. His departure is a great loss to the country. General Rawat was a dear friend of mine. We both commanded a brigade together. He had a deep devotion to the country and work. - Major General (Retd.) Cyrus Pithawala, Nashik


A shocking and sad news. Everything is taken care of when senior officers travel. But even if it is a helicopter, in the end it is a machine. There may be something wrong with it. He had many plans for the Indian Defence Forces. His unfortunate demise is a great loss to the nation. - Air Commodore (Retd) S K Jha, Nashik


The incident is very saddening for the whole nation. Sudden death of CDS Bipin Rawat has shook the whole country. It was his dream to tranform the three defence focres: Air Force, Army, and Navy, at the institutional level. He couldn’t complete his dream in this life but I am sure the nation will take it forward. It is an immense loss for us. - Brig (Retd) Jagdishchandra Bagul, Nashik

Great loss

CDS Bipin Rawat's sudden demise has caused immense damage to the nation, The country has lost a dutiful officer. My family and I extend our condolences to Rawat and other families of the officers and employees who lost their lives in the accident. May God grant eternal peace to the soul of the deceased. A heartfelt tribute. - Chhagan Bhujbal, Guardian Minister, Nashik

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