Gen Rawat’s Body Reaches Delhi, President, PM To Lead Tributes: 10 Points

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Bipin Rawat Chopper Crash: All 13 bodies are being brought back to Delhi on an air force aircraft. (File)

New Delhi:
The bodies of Gen Bipin Rawat, his wife, and the 11 who died in yesterday’s chopper crash in Tamil Nadu’s Nilgiri Hills has reached Delhi’s Palam Air Force base. President Ram Nath Kovind and Prime Minister Narendra Modi will lead tributes.

Here are the 10 biggest points in this story:

  1. President Kovind and Prime Minister Modi will be at the Palam Air Force base, where the C130-J Super Hercules transport aircraft carrying the bodies touched down. The Defence Secretary will lay a wreath at 8.30 pm, followed by the Chiefs of Staff of the Air Force, Navy and Army, the junior Defence Minister. Mr Doval, Rajnath Singh and the PM will follow, before the President pays his respects.

  2. Only three of the 13 bodies have been identified so far – Gen Rawat and his wife, Madhulika Rawat, and Brigadier LS Lidder. Their bodies will be released to the families for last rites. Till the other 10 are identified, they will be kept at the mortuary at the Army Base Hospital.

  3. From 11 am Friday the bodies of Gen Rawat and his wife will be kept at their Delhi home for family, friends, and the public to pay their final respects. The funeral procession will begin at 2 pm. The funeral itself has been scheduled for 4 pm at the Brar Square Crematorium, where Brigadier Lidder’s funeral would have been held at 9 am.

  4. Earlier today one of the vehicles carrying the 13 bodies met with a minor accident near Mettupalayam in Tamil Nadu’s Coimbatore district. The vehicles were transporting the bodies to the Sulur Air Force base in Coimbatore, from where they will be flown to Delhi.

  5. In visuals shared by ANI, a large crowd of locals had gathered to welcome the convoy as it reached the Sulur base. People were seen shouting ‘Bharat Mata ki jai‘ and showering the road with flower petals as the string of vehicles turned into the base compound.

  6. Also today, the ‘black box’, or flight data recorder, of the crashed chopper was recovered. The data will be examined as part of the high-level, tri-services inquiry ordered by the government. The inquiry will be lead Air Marshal Manvendra Singh, Mr Singh told Parliament.

  7. Group Captain Singh – the sole survivor – was being treated at the military hospital in Wellington. He has been airlifted to the Air Force’s Command Hospital in Bengaluru. Group Captain Singh is stable but remains in critical condition, officials have said.

  8. Gen Bipin Rawat, India’s first Chief of Defence Staff, will be cremated with full military honours Friday, as will all those who died. The bodies of Gen Rawat and his wife, Madhulika Rawat, will be taken to the Army hospital in Delhi’s Dhaula Kuan this evening.

  9. Condolence messages have come from the US, China, Nepal, the UK, Russia, Australia, France, Israel, and Japan. President Ram Nath Kovind said “the nation has lost one of its bravest sons” and Prime Minister Narendra Modi called Gen Rawat an “outstanding soldier“. Defence Minister Rajnath Singh called his death an “irreparable loss”.

  10. The Mi-17V5 Air Force chopper – described as “the workhorse of the Air Force” and widely seen as a stable aircraft, carrying Gen Rawat crashed after it took off from Sulur.Unverified footage emerged this morning of a chopper flying in the area; the clip, shared by ANI, shows the aircraft flying low and disappearing into the mist. The chopper took off at 11.48 am and was reported missing at 12.08 pm.

With input from ANI



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