Military helicopter carrying CDS General Bipin Rawat crashes in Tamil Nadu, chopper had Gen Rawat’s wife, other senior army officials

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A military helicopter carrying Chief of Defence Staff General Bipin Rawat, his wife and other senior army officers has crashed in Tamil Nadu.

General Bipin Rawat

A report by ANI said that an IAF Mi-17V5 helicopter, with CDS Gen Bipin Rawat on board, met with an accident today near Coonoor, Tamil Nadu.

“Bodies recovered from the site of the crash (between Coimbatore and Sulur where a military chopper crashed) have been taken to Military Hospital, Wellington in Tamil Nadu,” ANI said quoting sources.

Those 14 people on board the helicopter included CDS Gen Bipin Rawat, his wife Madhulika Rawat, Brig LS Lidder, Lt Col Harjinder Singh, NK Gursewak Singh, NK Jitendra Kr, L/Naik Vivek Kumar, L/Naik B Sai Teja & Hav Satpal.

Congress leader Rahul Gandhi tweeted “Hoping for the safety of CDS General Bipin Rawat, his wife and others onboard the chopper. Prayers for speedy recovery.”

Rawat was made the Indian army chief out of turn after the Indian government ignored the seniority of several officers. He had superseded two seniormost generals, Lt Generals, Praveen Bakshi and P M Hariz.

Rawat, an infantry soldier, superseded senior most army commander Lt Gen Praveen Bakshi, who headed the Eastern Command and was next in line to be the army chief, besides Southern Command Chief P Mohamed Hariz.

In 2019, Rawat had faced criticism for making extraordinary political comments by speaking the ruling party’s language while criticising the protests against the amended Citizenship Act.

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