Who is Madhulika Rawat: A tragic accident was reported Wednesday from Tamil Nadu’s Coonoor area in the Nilgiri hills that claimed the lives of many and left several casualties. The Chief of Defence Staff General Bipin Rawat, his wife Madhulika, their relatives and senior officers from the armed forces were reportedly present in the chopper that came down in the forests while on the way to Wellington from Sulur.
As per recent update, the Bipin Rawat and his wife have been confirmed dead after the accident. Indian Air Force tweeted the update on its official Twitter handle.
They wrote, “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.” Earlier there were reports from news agency ANI that confirmed 13 deaths.
Rescue operation teams were recovering bodies from the site while those critical after the crash were rushed to a military hospital at the army base in Wellington.
Condolences from quarters have been coming in for the family members of the General and the other passengers killed in the helicopter crash.
From Prime Minister Modi, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh to President of India, they expressed grief.
President Ram Nath Kovind said, “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.
As per reports, the mortal remains of General Rawat and his wife will be brought to Delhi in a military plane from Coimbatore.
Before that there will be a wreath-laying ceremony at Wellington.
The bodies will be brought to General Rawat’s residence where people will be able to pay their last respects between 11 am to 2 pm.
The funeral procession will start from Kamraj Marg to Brar Square crematorium in Delhi Cantonment.
As per reports, the crash happened after noon and the alarm was first raised by local villagers who alerted defence authorities.
Disturbing visuals from the crash site are doing rounds, showing major wreckage and the vessel going up in smoke.
A statement from the government, which was expected to come in today as previously announced, has been postponed to tomorrow.
Defence Minister Rajnath Singh visited the Rawat residence in Delhi in the hours after the crash, as per reports.
Know Who Is Madhulika Rawat, One Of The 14 Onboard Crashed Chopper
Madhulika Rawat was an active member of welfare associations for army wives and worked on campaigns and with organisations assisting with causes of disability and widow empowerment.
She was the wife of General Rawat, India’s first Chief of Defence Staff, and the couple are survived by their two daughters. More here.
A statement from the Indian Air Force, in confirmation of the accident in Tamil Nadu, said an inquiry had been ordered to ascertain the cause behind it.
The Mi-17V5 helicopter is understood to be a modern sturdy chopper capable of weathering adverse climate conditions and is reliable enough for the armed forces to use it for the deployment of rescue operations or launch air assault.