The Indian Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) General Bipin Rawat along with his wife and 11 other persons died when an Indian Air Force (IAF) helicopter carrying them crashed in Coonoor area of Indian Southern State Tamil Nadu on Wednesday.
In a series of tweets, the Indian Air Force confirmed the CDS’s death, saying that the IAF Mi 17 V5 helicopter with General Bipin Rawat, four crew members, and nine other passengers on board met with the tragic accident near Coonoor around noon today.
The IAF told that the Group Captain Varun Singh SC, the Directing Staff at the Defence Services Staff College (DSSC), with injuries is currently under treatment at Military Hospital in Wellington.
It told that General Bipin Rawat was on a visit to the DSSC, Wellington (Nilgiri Hills) to address the faculty and student officers of the Staff Course today.
Earlier the Indian media reports said that General Bipin Rawat, his wife Madhulika Rawat, the Defence Assistant, the Security Commandos and an IAF Pilot were on board the Mi-series chopper when it crashed between Coimbatore and Sulur in Tamil Nadu.
#WATCH | Latest visuals from the spot (between Coimbatore and Sulur) where a military chopper crashed in Tamil Nadu. CDS Gen Bipin Rawat, his staff and some family members were in the chopper.
(Video Source: Locals involved in search and rescue operation) pic.twitter.com/YkBVlzsk1J
— ANI (@ANI) December 8, 2021
General Bipin Rawat, a four-star general of the Indian army, was the first and current Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) of India. On December 30, 2019, he was appointed as the first Indian CDS and assumed the office from January 1, 2020.
Prior to taking over as the CDS, he served as the 57th and last Chairman of the Chiefs of Staff Committee as well as the 26th Chief of Army Staff of the Indian army.