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Tri-service enquiry ordered into CDS Bipin Rawat's chopper crash: Rajnath Singh

Singh informed both the Houses of Parliament that the last rites of CDS Rawat will be performed with full military honours.

December 09, 2021 / 12:32 PM IST

Union Defence Minister Rajnath Singh on December 9 briefed both Houses of Parliament on the IAF chopper crash that killed Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) General Bipin Rawat, his wife Madhulika Rawat and 11 others, near Tamil Nadu's Coonoor on December 8.

Rawat, along with 13 others, had boarded the Mi17 V5 helicopter. He was scheduled to visit the Defence Services Staff College, Wellington (Nilgiri Hills) to address the faculty and students there.

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Singh said the last rites of CDS Rawat will be performed with full military honours, while those of other personnel will be performed with appropriate military honours, he said during the ongoing Winter Session of Parliament.

The mortal remains of the deceased will be brought back to Delhi on Thursday evening by an Indian Air Force aircraft, the Defence Minister said.

"Indian Air Force has ordered a tri-service enquiry into the military chopper crash. The investigation will be led by Air Marshal Manavendra Singh. The inquiry team reached Wellington yesterday itself and started the investigation," Singh told Lok Sabha. He repeated the same statement in Rajya Sabha later.

READ: Gen Bipin Rawat: The Last Post

Both the Houses of Parliament paid tributes to CDS Rawat, and others  killed in the crash, by observing a two-minute silence. The lone survivor in the accident is Group Captain Varun Singh, who is currently undergoing treatment at the Military Hospital in Wellington, is on life support, Singh said.

"All efforts are being made to save him," he said.

The Opposition members, who have suspended their protest for a day, wanted to make individual statements on the crash but were not allowed by the Deputy Chairman Harivansh Narayan Singh in Rajya Sabha.

The Defence Minister is also expected to call on President Ram Nath Kovind and apprise him of the details of the chopper crash, according to news agency ANI.
Gulam Jeelani is a journalist with over 12 years of reporting experience. Based in New Delhi, he covers politics and governance for Moneycontrol.