Security beefed up around Gen Rawat’s residence in Delhi

New Delhi, Dec 8(IANS): India’s Chief of Defence Staff, General Bipin Rawat, who along with his wife Madhulika Rawat and 11 others, died when an IAF helicopter crashed near Coonoor in Tamil Nadu on Wednesday, was supposed to visit Madhya Pradesh in January 2022, as per his relative.
He was supposed to visit Shahdol, which is the birthplace of his wife, and attend the inaugural function of a Sainik School in the district, his brother-in-law Yashvardhan Singh, who was in Bhopal on Wednesday and left for Delhi soon after the incident took place, report said.
General Rawat and his wife Madhulika Rawat are survived by their two daughters — Kritika and Tarini.
This was the first fatality of a top defence official in nearly three decades – and has curious coincidences with the previous incident.
The previous incident of a senior Indian Army officer dying in a helicopter crash occurred in 1993 – and it also involved an Mi-17 helicopter, bad weather and the officer being accompanied by his wife.
President Ram Nath Kovind and Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday expressed deep grief over the demise of Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) General Bipin Rawat, his wife and other military personnel.
Defence Minister Rajnath Singh, Indian Army chief M.M. Naravane visited the residence of General Rawat on Wednesday evening. Navy chief Admiral R. Hari Kumar also met the bereaved family to offer his condolences over the tragic incident.
UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres is “deeply saddened” by the death of Generl Bipin Rawat, India’s Chief of Defence Services and a veteran of UN peacekeeping operations, according to his Spokesperson Stephane Dujarric.
“He served the United Nations with distinction, and we fully appreciated that work,” Dujarric said on Wednesday.
Guterres “expresses his heartfelt condolences to the families and the deceased to the people and government of India”, he said.
Taking to twitter, Shah said, “A very sad day for the nation as we have lost our Chief of Defence Staff, General Bipin Rawat Ji, in a very tragic accident. He was one of the bravest soldiers, who served the Motherland with utmost devotion. His exemplary contributions and commitment cannot be put into words. I am deeply pained.”
General Rawat was instrumental in laying the foundation for India’s joint theatre commands and giving impetus to the increased indigenisation of military equipment, a legacy which will be carried on and strengthened by successive generations, the Army said in a statement.
Security was beefed up in and around the residence of General Rawat, with only a select few allowed entry into the house.
Rawat’s family has been serving the Indian Army for four generations. His father Laxman Singh Rawat had served the Indian Army, and rose to the rank of Lieutenant-General.
His wife, Madhulika, was the President of the Army Wives’ Welfare Association (AWWA). The AWWA is one of the largest NGOs working towards ensuring the welfare of wives, children, and dependents of Army personnel.
Madhulika worked for the welfare of Army widows, differently-abled children, cancer patients, and dependents of Army personnel.

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