With full military honours, India’s defence chief will be put to rest

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The remains of India’s defence chief and 12 others killed in a helicopter accident will be transported to New Delhi on Thursday (Dec 9), when the top general will be put to rest with full military honours, according to Defence Minister Rajnath Singh. On Wednesday, General Bipin Rawat, his wife, and 12 defence officers were en route to a military staff college in southern India when their air force chopper crashed near the town of Coonoor. Only one of the 14 passengers and crew members survived the disaster. The reason of the accident is being looked into.
In late 2019, Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s administration named Gen Rawat, 63, as India’s first chief of military staff. The job was created with the intention of bringing the army, navy, and air force together. Defence Minister Singh said the Mi-17 V5 helicopter took off from the Sulur Air Base at 11.48 a.m. on Wednesday in a short speech in Parliament. The aircraft was supposed to arrive at a hillside military location at 12.15 p.m., but the base lost communication with it seven minutes before that.
“Locals saw a fire in the forest near Coonoor and went there, where they saw the wreckage of a military helicopter engulfed in flames,” Mr Singh added.
He said that Gen Rawat, who has spent more than four decades in the army, will be put to rest with full military honours.The lone survivor of the accident, an air force group captain, is in a military hospital on life support.
“Every attempt is being made to save his life,” Mr Singh added.

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