Chief of Defence Staff Gen. Bipin Rawat, his wife Madhulika Rawat and 11 others died when the IAF helicopter carrying them crashed near Coonoor in Tamil Nadu on December 8. He was the country's first Chief of Defence Staff .
Condolences poured in from various quarters.
The Indian Air Force tweeted: "With deep regret, it has now been ascertained that Gen. Bipin Rawat, Mrs Madhulika Rawat and 11 other persons on board have died in the unfortunate accident."
President of India Ram Nath Kovind tweeted: “I am shocked and anguished over the untimely demise of Gen. Bipin Rawat and his wife, Madhulika ji. The nation has lost one of its bravest sons. His four decades of selfless service to the motherland was marked by exceptional gallantry and heroism. My condolences to his family.”
Prime Minister Narendra Modi tweeted: “I am deeply anguished by the helicopter crash in Tamil Nadu in which we have lost Gen Bipin Rawat, his wife and other personnel of the Armed Forces. They served India with utmost diligence. My thoughts are with the bereaved families.”
“Gen Bipin Rawat was an outstanding soldier. A true patriot, he greatly contributed to modernising our armed forces and security apparatus. His insights and perspectives on strategic matters were exceptional. His passing away has saddened me deeply. Om Shanti.”
“As India’s first CDS, Gen Rawat worked on diverse aspects relating to our armed forces including defence reforms. He brought with him a rich experience of serving in the Army. India will never forget his exceptional service,” the PM added.
Defence Minister Rajnath Singh tweeted: "Deeply anguished by the sudden demise of Chief of Defence Staff Gen Bipin Rawat, his wife and 11 other Armed Forces personnel in an extremely unfortunate helicopter accident today in Tamil Nadu. His untimely death is an irreparable loss to our Armed Forces and the country."
EAM Dr. S. Jaishankar tweeted: “Deeply shocked at tragic demise of CDS General Bipin Rawat and his wife. We worked closely together in the last few years. It is a huge loss to the nation.”
Pakistan's top military brass expressed condolences over the "tragic death".
Pakistan Army’s spokesman in a short statement posted on Twitter said that Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee (CJCSC) General Nadeem Raza and Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Qamar Javed Bajwa expressed condolences. "General Nadeem Raza, CJCSC & General Qamar Javed Bajwa, COAS express condolences on tragic death of #CDS General #BipinRawat, his wife and loss of precious lives in a helicopter crash in India,” Pakistan Armed Forces Spokesperson Major General Babar Iftikhar tweeted.
Congress leader Rahul Gandhi tweeted: “I extend my condolences to the family of Gen Bipin Rawat and his wife. This is an unprecedented tragedy and our thoughts are with their family in this difficult time. Heartfelt condolences also to all others who lost their lives. India stands united in this grief.”
Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Y.S. Jagan Mohan Reddy expressed shock over the IAF helicopter crash. "Extremely disturbed by the news of the Army chopper crash in TN. Praying for the safety of CDS Gen Bipin Rawat ji. Deepest condolences to the families of the victims. May they find strength in this difficult time," Mr. Jagan said in a tweet.
Telugu Desam Party president N. Chandrababu Naidu expressed shock over the tragedy. "I am shocked to learn that an Army helicopter carrying Chief of Defence Staff General Bipin Rawat ji and 13 others has crashed in Tamil Nadu. My thoughts and prayers are with those were onboard," Mr. Chandrababu said in a tweet.
Actors Anupam Kher, Urmila Matondkar, Kamal Haasan and other film personalities took to Twitter on Wednesday to condole the Chief of Defence Staff Gen Bipin Rawat's death in a helicopter crash in Tamil Nadu.
Singapore's diplomatic missions in New Delhi tweeted: "Saddened to learn that Chief of Defence Staff Gen Bipin Rawat, Mrs Rawat & 11 others on board have passed. Had the honour of mtg Gen Rawat several times. His vision, candour & warmth will be missed. Deepest condolences to all grieving this terrible loss."
West Bengal Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar expressed grief at his untimely demise. He prayed for the speedy recovery of Group Captain Varun Singh, who is currently undergoing treatment. "Deeply grieved at the untimely demise of India's first #CDS #BipinRawat. He served country with exceptional courage. Condolences & prayers to families of all who lost their lives in the mishap," Mr. Dhankhar tweeted.
Communist Party of India (Marxist) leader Sitaram Yechury said he was deeply shocked by the news and offered his condolences to the families of Rawat and all those who died in the crash.
Chief Minister of Uttarakhand , Rawat’s home state, Pushkar Singh Dhami , said Rawat, the first CDS of the country, was a loyal officer and his death was an irreparable loss to India and Uttarakhand in particular. He added that Rawat’s passing away was a personal loss for him as the CDS had “guided” him like a guardian.
Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath said the death of Rawat and his wife was extremely sad and that Rawat would be remembered always an outstanding military officer. His death was an irreparable loss to the nation, he said.
(With inputs from Agencies)