Chopper crash: PM Modi, Rajnath Singh, MoS Defence, NSA to pay last respects to CDS General Rawat, 12 others today


New Delhi : Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh, Union Minister of State for Defence Ajay Bhatt and National Security Advisor (NSA) Ajit Doval are expected to pay tributes to the mortal remains of Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) General Bipin Rawat, his wife and 11 other personnel at the Palam Technical Area on Thursday evening, informed sources.

According to the sources, all 13 bodies are being brought in an Indian Air Force C-130J Super Hercules transport aircraft from Sulur to Delhi.

IAF Chief Air Chief Marshal VR Chaudhari, who was at the site of the chopper crash has already left for Delhi from there.

The sources said that the four bodies including that of General Rawat, his wife and Brigadier LS Lidder have been positively identified.

The mortal remains reached Sulur airbase earlier today from where they will be taken to Delhi.

Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) General Bipin Rawat, his wife Madhulika Rawat and 11 others, who were on board IAF’s Mi-17V5 helicopter, died in the crash on Wednesday.

The last rites will be held in Delhi on Friday with military honours. A funeral procession will start from Kamraj Marg to Brar Square crematorium in Delhi Cantonment on Friday.

The mortal remains were today brought to Madras Regimental Centre from Military Hospital, Wellington in Nilgiris district. People paid floral tribute to the deceased here.

The government today ordered a ‘tri service’ enquiry into the accident.

The enquiry will be headed by Air Marshal Manvendra Singh, Air Officer Commanding-in-Chief Training Command.

Both Houses of Parliament observed two-minutes silence on the demise of 13 people.

According to the sources, the black box of the chopper has been recovered.

Meanwhile, a team of the state’s Forensic Science Department also visited the crash site.

A total of 14 people were on-board the IAF’s helicopter. Group Captain Varun Singh is the lone survivor of the crash and is presently on life support in Military Hospital, Wellington.

Those who died in the crash include General Rawat, his wife Madhulika Rawat, his Defence Adviser Brigadier Lakhbinder Singh Lidder, Staff Officer Lieutenant Colonel Harjinder Singh and nine other Armed Forces personnel including the Air Force helicopter crew.

Their names are Wing Commander Prithvi Singh Chauhan, Squadron Leader Kuldeep Singh, Junior Warrant Officer Rana Pratap Das, Junior Warrant Officer Arakkal Pradeep, Havildar Satpal Rai, Naik Gursewak Singh, Naik Jitendra Kumar, Lance Naik Vivek Kumar, Lance Naik B Sai Teja. (ANI)