Big Breaking: General Bipin Rawat has died in the Chopper crash in TN...Here's the statement from the Air Force!

The Indian Air Force has made it official that India's Chief of Defence Staff General Bipin Rawat has died in the military chopper crash in Tamil Nadu's Nilgiris district. The crash has happened in the afternoon hours of Wednesday and the confirmation about the demise of the defence general has come six hours after the accident. The chopper - Mi-17V5 was carrying 14 people on board including Rawat, his wife, and top military officers. 

The chopper has started from Sulur Air Base in Coimbatore at around 11.45 am on Wednesday and it was scheduled to reach Defense Services Staff College in Wellington, Coonoor at around 12.30 pm. However, ten minutes ahead of the landing, the chopper had crashed in the Katteri area and gone down with 14 people on board. Following the crash, the Indian Air Force has confirmed that Rawat was on board and he was on his way to deliver a lecture at the Defence Staff College in Wellington. 

It was later confirmed that 13 of the 14 people on board had died and a DNA testing would be done to ascertain their identity as the bodies had suffered severe burn injuries after the crash. The condition of General Bipin Rawat was unknown and now the Indian Air Force has officially announced that Rawat had died in the crash. His wife and 11 others had died while one officer is getting treated at Military Hospital in Wellington.

Taking to social media, the Indian Air Force said, "Gen Bipin Rawat, Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) was on a visit to Defence Services Staff College, Wellington (Nilgiri Hills) to address the faculty and student officers of the Staff Course today. 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." 

"Gp Capt Varun Singh SC, Directing Staff at DSSC with injuries is currently under treatment at Military Hospital, Wellington", it added. 63-year-old Bipin Rawat was a four-star general of the Indian Army and he was the first CDS of India. He was appointed as the first CDS of India and assumed office from 1st January 2020. Before becoming CDS, he had served as 57th and last Chairman of the Chiefs of Staff Committee as well as the 26th Chief of Army Staff of the Indian Army. 

After learning about his demise, several national leaders and generals have been paying tributes to him. President Ram Nath Kovind said, "I am shocked and anguished over the untimely demise of Gen. Bipin Rawat and his wife, Madhulika ji. The nation has lost one of its bravest sons. His four decades of selfless service to the motherland was marked by exceptional gallantry and heroism. My condolences to his family." "It’s deeply painful for me to learn of the loss of lives in the chopper crash. I join the fellow citizens in paying tributes to each of those who died while performing their duty. My heartfelt condolences to the bereaved families" he added. 

Prime Minister Narendra Modi took to social media and wrote, "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." Modi further said, "As India’s first CDS, Gen Rawat worked on diverse aspects relating to our armed forces including defence reforms. He brought with him a rich experience of serving in the Army. India will never forget his exceptional service." 

Union Defence Minister Rajnath Singh wrote, "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. His untimely death is an irreparable loss to our Armed Forces and the country." He added, "General Rawat had served the country with exceptional courage and diligence. As the first Chief of Defence Staff he had prepared plans for jointness of our Armed Forces."

Union Home Minister Amit Shah said, "A very sad day for the nation as we have lost our CDS, General Bipin Rawat Ji in a very tragic accident. He was one of the bravest soldiers, who has served the motherland with utmost devotion. His exemplary contributions & commitment cannot be put into words. I am deeply pained." ANI has reported that the mortal remains of Chief of Defence Staff General Bipin Rawat and his wife along with other Armed Forces personnel killed in the chopper crash expected to arrive in Delhi by evening tomorrow. The news of Rawat's demise has come moments ahead of the meeting of the Cabinet Committee of Security which will be chaired by the Prime Minister.