The mortal remains of Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) General Bipin Rawat and his wife along with other Armed Forces personnel killed in Indian Air Force (IAF) chopper crash expected to arrive in Delhi by evening, news agency ANI reported.

The cremation of General Bipin Rawat and his wife to be done on Friday 10 December 10 in Delhi Cantonment.


General Bipin Rawat was on a visit to Defence Services Staff College, Wellington (Nilgiri Hills) to address the faculty and student officers of the Staff Course today.

Around noon today (8/12), 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, Tamil Nadu, IAF has said.

Videos and footage from the scene showed a crowd of people trying to extinguish the fiery wreck with water buckets while a group of soldiers carried one of the passengers away on an improvised stretcher.

IAF announced “with deep regret the death of Gen Bipin Rawat, Mrs Madhulika Rawat and 11 other persons on board in the unfortunate accident.

CDS General Bipin Rawat was India’s first chief of defence staff, a position that the government established in 2019, and was seen as close to Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

“His untimely death is an irreparable loss to our Armed Forces and the country,” defence minister Rajnath Singh said on Twitter.

The sole survivor of the crash, Group Captain Varun Singh working at the DSSC, was being treated for his injuries at a nearby military hospital, the air force said.



Rawat came from a military family with several generations having served in the Indian armed forces.

The general joined the army as a second lieutenant in 1978 and had four decades of service behind him, having commanded forces in Indian-administered Kashmir and along the Line of Actual Control bordering China.

He was credited with reducing insurgency on India’s northeastern frontier and supervised a cross-border counter-insurgency operation into neighbouring Myanmar.

Rawat was chief of the 1.3 million-strong army from 2017 to 2019 before his elevation to defence services chief, which analysts said was to improve integration between the army, navy and air force.

He was considered close to the Modi government and turned heads last month when he reportedly made an approving reference to “lynching terrorists” in the contested territory of Kashmir.

The Mi-17 helicopter, which first entered service in the 1970s and is in wide use by defence services around the world, has been involved in a number of accidents over the years.


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