Defence Minister Rajnath Singh pays tribute to CDS Gen Bipin Rawat and his wife Photograph:( IANS )
A special prayer ceremony was led by Bhutan's King and his father the Fourth King In Thimphu on Thursday morning for General Rawat & his wife
Over 25 countries extended condolences to New Delhi in the aftermath of the tragic death of India's Chief of Defence Staff General Bipin Rawat, his wife and 11 defence personnel in the helicopter crash that took place in the southern Indian state of Tamil Nadu.
Condolences were sent at the level of the head of government by six countries—Bhutan, Israel, Maldives, Mauritius, Sri Lanka, Nepal.
In fact, a special prayer ceremony was led by Bhutan's King and his father the Fourth King In Thimphu on Thursday morning for General Rawat & his wife. Indian envoy to Bhutan Ruchira Kamboj was also present in the prayers.
Not just at the head of the state level, condolences were sent personally by foreign ministers and defence ministers, and also through their ministries.
At the level of foreign ministers, nine countries sent condolence messages—Bhutan, Czech Republic, Japan, Maldives, Oman, Serbia, Sri Lanka, USA and Venezuela.
At the level of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, 11 countries sent messages—Bangladesh, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Iran, Estonia, Greece, Iran, Latvia, UAE, USA and Venezuela.
Globally, defence ministers also extended messages of support and solidarity.
At the level of defence ministers, 10 countries— Australia, Canada, Czech Republic, Israel, Latvia, Maldives, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, UK, USA and EU —sent condolence messages.
While at the level of the defence ministry, 13 countries sent messages, including Australia, Brazil, Canada, Czech Republic, Denmark, Israel, Japan, Latvia, Maldives, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, UK, USA and EU.
On Friday, many envoys visited General Rawat’s official residence at Kamraj Road in Delhi and also at the Brar Square crematorium.
UK, French, Israel, Maldives, Italy, Afghanistan envoys visited his residence to pay their respects. Germany and Indonesia were represented at deputy envoy level. Pakistan was represented by its defence attaché and naval advisor.
Four countries—Sri Lanka, Bhutan, Nepal and Bangladesh —were represented by top army officials.
Sri Lanka sent its Chief of Defence Staff and Commander of the Sri Lanka Army, Gen Shavendra Silva. He was accompanied by Admiral Ravindra Chandrasiri Wijegunaratne (Retd), the former Chief of Defence Staff, who was also the fellow mate of CDS General Rawat at National Defence College.
Bhutan was represented by Brig Dorji Rinchen, Deputy Chief Operations Officer, Royal Bhutan Army, who is the 2nd most senior most officer of the Royal Bhutan Army.
Nepal was represented by Lt Gen Bal Krishna Karki, the Chief of General Staff (equivalent to Vice Chief of Army Staff), Nepali Army.
Bangladesh was represented by Lt Gen Waker-UZ-Zaman, the Principal Staff Officer, Armed Forces Division, Bangladesh.
The Indian Army and defence establishment have close linkages with forces of neighbouring countries like Nepal, Bhutan.
Gen Bipin Rawat as the Indian Army Chief was conferred with the honorary general of Nepalese Army. As a tradition, Indian and Nepali armies confer honorary rank of General to each other's army chiefs, signifying close military ties between both countries.