“Deeply Anguished”: PM Modi Tweets On General Bipin Rawat’s Death

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New Delhi:

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has expressed “deep sorrow” over the sudden death of the country’s first Chief of Defense Staff General Bipin Rawat, whose helicopter crashed in Coonoor, Tamil Nadu this morning. Twelve more people were killed when an army helicopter crashed, including Madhulika Rawat, General Rawat’s wife. The only survivor of the crash, who was critically burned, is fighting for his life at a hospital in Wellington, where they were led.

“I am deeply saddened by the helicopter crash in Tamil Nadu in which we lost General Bipin Rawat, his wife and other members of the armed forces. They have served India with utmost diligence. My thoughts are with the bereaved family,” the Prime Minister tweeted.

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The helicopter crashed in the Eucalyptus Mountains, confusing experts who called it a “very reliable, safe, stable” aircraft. The Indian Air Force has ordered an inquiry into the matter.

The country’s top general was named in January 2019 as its first Chief of Defense Staff, a position that unites the army, navy and air force.

“As India’s first CDS, General Rawat has worked on various aspects of our armed forces, including defense reform. He has brought with him a rich experience of serving in the Army. India will never forget his exceptional service,” Modi tweeted.

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Earlier in the day, Defense Minister Rajnath Singh had briefed on the devastation, adding that Prime Minister Modi was meeting the Cabinet Committee on Security this evening.

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The country’s top decision-makers on internal security and defense policy, chaired by the prime minister, include the defense, interior, foreign and finance ministers. In December 2019, they named the four-star general the first Chief of Defense Staff.

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