New Delhi : The funeral procession of Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) General Bipin Rawat, who lost his life in a military chopper crash on December 8, has left his residence at Kamraj Marg for the Brar Square crematorium in Delhi Cantonment where his last rites will be performed.
The CDS is being accorded a 17 gun salute, as per laid down protocols of the Armed forces.
The accord has been followed by wife of CDS, Madhulika Rawat, who also lost her life in the same crash.
Several people joined the funeral procession as it proceeds to the crematorium. These people can be seen along the sides of the road with banners and national flags.
While the cortege of the CDS proceeds towards Brar Square crematorium, the citizens praise him with chanting “Jab tak suraj chaand rahega, Bipin ji ka naam rahega”.
As per the schedule, the funeral procession of the CDS will reach the Brar Square crematorium by 3:30 pm.
Post the playing of the Last Post and Rouse by tri-services buglers, the funeral pyre will be lit by family members at the crematorium.
Meanwhile, Union Ministers Amit Shah, Nirmala Sitharaman, Mansukh Mandaviya, Smriti Irani, Narendra Singh Tomar and Sarbananda Sonowal had, earlier in the day, reached the residence of General Bipin Rawat to pay their last respects.
Several political leaders like Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, Uttarakhand CM Pushkar Singh Dhami, Congress leaders Rahul Gandhi, Mallikarjun Kharge and Harish Singh Rawat, BJP chief JP Nadda and DMK leaders A Raja and Kanimozhi, among others, laid a wreath on the mortal remains of the CDS and his wife.
An IAF chopper crash near Tamil Nadu’s Coonoor on Wednesday claimed the lives of 13 people including CDS Rawat, his wife Madhulika Rawat and his defence adviser Brigadier Lidder.
The Army said the mortal remains of only three persons — General Rawat, his wife Madhulika Rawat and Brigadier Lidder — had been positively identified so far.
Brigadier Lidder was cremated earlier today.
Other 10 defence forces personnel who died in the chopper crash are Staff Officer Lieutenant Colonel Harjinder Singh, 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 and Lance Naik B. Sai Teja.
Group Captain Varun Singh, the lone survivor in the crash, has been shifted to Air Force Command hospital at Bengaluru for further treatment.
The Centre has ordered a ‘tri service’ inquiry into the accident. The inquiry will be headed by Air Marshal Manvendra Singh, Air Officer Commanding-in-Chief Training Command.
According to the sources, the black box of the chopper has been recovered from the crash site.
A team of Tamil Nadu’s Forensic Science Department also visited the crash site. (ANI)