General Bipin Rawat cremated with full military honors
The funeral of General Bipin Rawat and his wife was held at Brar Square crematorium in Delhi Cantonment on Friday. Final respects were paid at General Rawat's residence and the procession left for the crematorium around 2 pm. General Rawat, India's first Chief of Defence Staff (CDS), Madhulika Rawat, and 11 others were killed in a chopper crash in Tamil Nadu on Wednesday.
Earlier in the day, Union Home Minister Amit Shah, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi, Uttarakhand Chief Minister Pushkar Singh Dhami, and Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal paid respects to General Rawat at his residence. The General was cremated with full military honors which included a 17-gun salute. Reportedly, a total of 800 service personnel were present at the funeral.
Also, the last rites of Brigadier Lakhwinder Singh Lidder, defense assistant to CDS Rawat, were held in Delhi Cantonment around 9:30 am. Union Defence Minister Rajnath Singh and Haryana Chief Minister ML Khattar were among those who attended.
The bodies of the crash victims were flown in from Sulur, Tamil Nadu on Thursday night. Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Defence Minister Singh, National Security Advisor Ajit Doval, and other senior officials paid tributes to them at the Palam air base in Delhi. The lone survivor of the incident, Group Captain Varun Singh, is undergoing treatment at the Air Force Command Hospital in Bengaluru.
Around Wednesday noon, an Indian Air Force (IAF) chopper crashed in Nilgiris district. The helicopter was minutes from landing when the accident took place. General Rawat and other officials were headed to the Defence Services Staff College, Wellington, to address the faculty and students there. The IAF said an inquiry has been launched and urged people to avoid speculation.
Besides General Rawat, his wife, and Brigadier Lidder, those who died in the crash included Lt. Col. Harjinder Singh, Lance Naik B Sai Teja, Lance Naik Jitender Kumar, Lance Naik Vivek Kumar, Naik Gursevak Singh, and Havildar Satpal Rai. The bodies of four victims have been identified so far and the process to identify the others is underway.