Defense Chief General Bipin Rawat dies in chopper crash


India’s first Chief of Defense Staff, General Bipin Rawat and his wife died today after an army chopper crashed near Coonoor in Tamil Nadu. A total of 14 people, including CDS Bipin Rawat, his wife and other officers were on board in this aircraft. 

A tweet by Indian Force reads, “General Bipin Rawat chopper crash in Coonoor: With deep regret, it has now been ascertained that General Bipin Rawat, Mrs Madhulika Rawat and 11 other officers boarding the aircraft have died in the unfortunate accident.”

Along with General Bipin Rawat and his wife Madhulika Rawat, 13 people lost their lives in an army helicopter crash. There were a total of 14 army men and only one survived the accident. He is seriously injured and is undergoing treatment. 

Soon after the shocking news, the tributes for Gen Rawat have started pouring in. Many including President Ram Nath Kovind, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Defense Minister Rajnath Singh, Home Minister Amit Shah, Congress MP Rahul Gandhi, Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar and the NCP’s Sharad Pawar expressed their grief over the demise. 

Bipin Rawat was going to the Defense Services Staff College in Wellington to meet the personnel and students. The aircraft came down at a distance of about 10 km from the helipad where it was to land. The incident occurred in the Nilgiris, soon after the Mi-series chopper took off from the army base in Sulur. It would have landed in the next 10 minutes if it would not have crashed. 

Mi-17V5 is the safest military helicopter 

The Mi-17V5 of the Indian Army is one of the safest helicopters and is used in many VVIP tours. The helicopter has a double engine so that in case one engine fails, the other engine can help in a safe landing. 

Early Life of Bipin Rawat 

Bipin Rawat did his education from Cambrian Hall School in Dehradun, St Edward’s School in Shimla and Indian Military Academy Dehradun. He began his career in 1978 joining the army as a second lieutenant, 5th Battalion of the 11th Gorkha Rifle. He attained an M.Phil degree in Defense Studies from the University of Madras. The general had four decades of service behind him.

He was also involved in the Kargil War In the year 1999, General Rawat also took part in the Kargil war with Pakistan. India had won in this. Also, the army went across the border under his administration and destroyed the terrorist camps and killed many terrorists.

General Bipin Rawat was a multiple-time awardee

He was awarded many times for outstanding services, has huge experience in overseeing high altitude battleground and counter-terrorist operations. Also, he has been cited for gallantry and distinguished service, including UYSM, AVSM, YSM, SM, VSM, COAS Commendation.

One of the most prominent soldiers of his time

Referring to a family of military officers and one of the most distinguished soldiers of his time, General Bipin Rawat, 63, took charge as India’s first Chief of Defense Staff in January 2019. He was the first to occupy the post of CDS, which made him the country’s chief military officer. 

First CDS 

As CDS, he headed the other four-star military officers the Navy, Air Force and Army. The past Army Chief, General Rawat was also posted as the head of the newly-created Department of Military Affairs in the Defense Ministry. Moreover, he was the Principal Military Advisor to the Defense Minister on all matters related to the forces.

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