Mobile phone of man, who captured video of General Rawat's chopper, sent for forensic tests | Latest News India - Hindustan Times
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Mobile phone of man, who made video of General Rawat's chopper, sent for forensic tests

By, New Delhi
Dec 12, 2021 07:20 PM IST

The footage shows a helicopter, apparently the one ferrying General Bipin Rawat, disappearing into a fog.

Police in Tamil Nadu's Coimbatore have collected and sent for forensic analysis the mobile phone of a man who captured a video which apparently shows the Indian Air Force (IAF) helicopter, which crashed in the state's Nilgiris district on Wednesday, leading to the demise of 13 out of 14 people on board, including the nation's first and sitting Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) General Bipin Rawat, and his spouse Madhulika Rawat. 

Screengrab from the video which has now gone viral on social media claiming to be the final moments of the chopper which crashed minutes after being photographed. 
Screengrab from the video which has now gone viral on social media claiming to be the final moments of the chopper which crashed minutes after being photographed. 

Also Read | 'A loud sound and the copter disappeared in fog': Man who took last video of Gen Rawat's chopper

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The phone was collected as a part of a probe in the case, the police said. The device's owner, Joe, who is a Coimbatore-based wedding photographer, had gone to Katteri area in the Nilgiris district with a group of friends on December 8, and, 'out of curiosity,' made the video of the ill-fated chopper, said to be from mere moments before the crash.

Additionally, the police are also probing why Joe and his friends went to the dense forest region, which, they said, is a prohibited area due to the frequent movement of wild animals.

In the footage, the IAF Mi-17V5 is seen disappearing into a fog. After the clip went viral on social media, the force put out a statement, urging everyone to 'avoid uninformed speculation to respect the dignity of the deceased.'

Also Read | IAF says uninformed speculation on chopper crash may be avoided, tri-service inquiry underway

The IAF has constituted a tri-service Court of Inquiry (CoI) to probe the crash, which took place when the defence chief was on his way to the Wellington-based Defence Services Staff College (DSSC) where he was to deliver a lecture. 

Besides General Rawat and his wife, those who lost their lives were: Brigadier LS Lidder, Lieutenant Colonel Harjinder Singh, Wing Commander Prithvi Singh Chauhan (pilot), Squadron Leader Kuldeep Singh (co-pilot), Junior Warrant Officer (JWO) Rana Pratap Das, JWO Arakkal Pradeep, Lance Naik Vivek Kumar, Lance Naik B Sai Teja, Havildar Satpal Rai, Naik Gursewak Singh and Naik Jitendra Kumar.

Also Read | In last message, General Rawat paid tribute to 1971 war heroes

The lone survivor, Group Captain Varun Singh, is hospitalised in a Bengaluru-based military hospital. The officer's condition is reported to be ‘critical.’

(With PTI inputs)

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