Defence Minister Rajnath Singh briefs Parliament

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Defence Minister Rajnath Singh made a statement in Parliament on Thursday (December 9) on the chopper crash in Tamil Nadu that claimed the lives of 13 people including the Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) General Bipin Rawat and his wife Dr Madhulika Rawat.

The Indian Air Force (IAF) has ordered a tri-service inquiry into the military chopper crash. The investigation will be led by Air Marshal Manavendra Singh. The inquiry team reached Wellington yesterday itself and started the investigation, the Defence Minister said in the Lok Sabha. Lok Sabha observed a two-minute silence on the demise.

The last rites of CDS General Bipin Rawat will be performed with full military honours and the last rites of other military personnel will be performed with appropriate military honour, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh in his statement in the lower house.

The Indian Air Force (IAF) confirmed the demise of General Rawat, his wife Madhulika Rawat and 11 others, who were on-board the IAF Mi-17V5 helicopter.

General Rawat, India`s first CDS, was on a visit to the Defence Services Staff College in Wellington to address the faculty and student officers of the Staff Course when his chopper crashed near Coonoor in Tamil Nadu on Wednesday.

General Rawat was appointed as India`s first Chief of Defense Staff on December 31, 2019. He previously served as Chief of the Army Staff from January 2017 to December 2019. He was commissioned into the Indian Army in December 1978.

A veteran of counterinsurgency warfare, CDS Rawat served in the most difficult terrains including Northern and Eastern commands. 

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