Counterterror specialist among victims of Coonoor crash
Brigadier LS Lidder, the defence assistant to the chief of defence staff General Bipin Rawat and among the 13 people killed in the Coonoor chopper crash, was a competent, professional and affable officer who enjoyed Rawat’s confidence. He was commissioned into the Jammu and Kashmir Rifles. Lidder had served as India’s defence attache to Kazakhstan and was a counterterrorism specialist.
His daughter Aashna Lidder’s book ‘In Search of a Title: Musings of a Teenager’ was released on November 27. He was very proud of his daughter’s achievement and fondly talked about her book. The CDS’s wife Madhulika Raje Singh Rawat had attended the book launch.
“We trained together at #NDA. We fought terrorists together in #Kashmir. In the loss of Brig LS Lidder, SM, VSM today, India has lost one of its brightest & bravest officers & I have lost a friend. A decorated soldier, caring husband & doting father, you will be missed, Tony,” MP Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore said in a tweet.
Rawat’s staff officer, Lieutenant Colonel Harjinder Singh, who was also killed in the crash, was known to be a thorough professional. “Col Harjinder Singh was commissioned under my command. He was my Adjutant and a fabulous officer. I will miss you, my ever-smiling Harry. May you Rest in Peace,” Lieutenant General Shokin Chauhan (retd) wrote on Twitter.
The chopper was flown by Wing Commander PS Chauhan, the commanding officer of 109 Helicopter Unit at Sulur, and his co-pilot Squadron Leader K Singh. The other two IAF personnel on board were junior warrant officers -- Rana Pratap Das and Pradeep A.
The army identified the others killed as Havildar Satpal Rai, Naik Gursewak Singh, Naik Jitender Kumar, Lance Naik Vivek Kumar and Lance Naik BS Teja.
The only survivor of the crash, Group Captain Varun Singh, is under treatment at the Military Hospital in Wellington.