General Bipin Rawat's death: Uttarakhand declares 3-day state mourning
Hours after India's first Chief of Defence Staff General Bipin Rawat met his tragic end in a helicopter crash, the Uttarakhand government on Wednesday declared a three-day state mourning to pay tributes to his passing legacy. Describing the four-star general's sudden death as an “irreparable loss” to the nation, Uttarakhand chief minister Pushkar Singh Dhami said that this state will always be proud of its son.
General Bipin Laxman Singh Rawat was born in Pauri, modern-day Uttarakhand, on 16 March 1958. He belonged to the Saina village in the district, growing up in a family that had been serving in the Indian Army for multiple generations. His father, Laxman Singh Rawat was from Sainj village of the Pauri Garhwal district and rose to the rank of lieutenant-general.
Bipin Rawat, too, graduated from the National Defence Academy in Khadakwasla and the Indian Military Academy in Dehradun, where he was awarded the ‘Sword of Honour’. He would, of course, later go on to become the much-venerated general of the Indian Army that he was known as, serving in various divisions of the armed forces across multiple postings before being promoted to the office of the Chief of Army Staff (COAS) and finally, India's first Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) – a post he served diligently till the time of his tragic death.
General Bipin Rawat, his wife Madhulika, and 11 other officials of the Indian armed forces were killed in a helicopter crash near Coonoor in Tamil Nadu on Wednesday, the Indian Air Force said.
In doleful remembrance of General Rawat's personality, Uttarakhand will be observing the three days of state mourning from December 9 to 12. In an official condolence message issued at state capital Lucknow, chief minister Dhami prayed for peace to all the departed souls who lost their lives in the accident.
“The country will always remember the courageous decisions taken by him [General Bipin Rawat] for the security of the borders and the contribution made by him to keep the morale of the armed forces always high,” the Uttarakhand chief minister said.