Bodies of CDS Rawat, wife & others reach Delhi, PM Modi to pay tribute
- Prime Minister Narendra Modi is expected to pay tribute to CDS General Bipin Rawat, his wife Madhulika Rawat and 11 others, who died in the chopper crash, around 9pm.
Mortal remains of chief of defence staff (CDS) General Bipin Rawat, wife Madhulika and some other Army officials, killed in Wednesday's helicopter crash in Tamil Nadu, arrived in Delhi's Palam air base from Sulur in Coimbatore on Thursday evening.
It was reported earlier that the severity of the IAF chopper crash near Coonoor in Tamil Nadu's Nilgiris district was making it difficult for the team concerned to positively identify the bodies of the 13 individuals who lost their lives in the crash. The Army, however, said the mortal remains of the CDS, his wife and Brigadier LS Lidder could be positively identified and the final rites would be performed as scheduled.
According to latest inputs by ANI, the process for positive identification of the mortal remains of 10 other Armed Forces personnel is underway. The report cited the Indian Army as saying that the mortal remains will remain at the mortuary of Army Base Hospital until formalities of positive identification are complete.
Earlier in the day, defence minister Rajnath Singh briefed Parliament during the ongoing winter session and said the Centre has directed a tri-service probe into the IAF chopper crash. He also informed the two Houses that the crash occurred after the IAF helicopter lost control with the Sulur control room at Wednesday noon.
Singh also said General Rawat's last rites will be conducted in Delhi on Thursday with full state honours.
Here's a timeline of what can be expected from the last rites in Delhi:
1. A ‘Shradhanjali ceremony’ is scheduled from 8.30pm onwards in Delhi, ANI reported citing the Indian Army.
2. The mortal remains of CDS General Bipin Rawat, his wife Madhulika and Brig LS Lidder will be released to the next of kin for final religious rites as desired by their respective families. Their bodies will be handed over as positive identification of their remains was successful, the Army added.
3. Prime Minister Narendra Modi is expected to pay tribute at around 9pm. He will be accompanied by Singh, NSA Ajit Doval, Union minister of state for defence Ajay Bhatt and three services chiefs. The tribute will be paid at the Palam Technical Area.
4. CDS and Army Commander of Sri Lanka, General Shavendra Silva is expected to attend the last rites of CDS General Rawat.
5. Lieutenant General Waker us-Zaman, principal staff officer of Bangladesh's Armed Forces Division, is going to be attending CDS Rawat's funeral in Delhi. He will reach the national capital via Doha, and will arrive at 8am on Friday.