Tributes pour in for Gen Bipin Rawat: US defence secretary, UN chief extend their condolences

WION Web Team
New Delhi, India Published: Dec 08, 2021, 07:10 PM(IST)

Indian Army chief General Bipin Rawat arrives for the Beating the Retreat ceremony in New Delhi, India Photograph:( Reuters )

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Rawat had joined the army as a second lieutenant in 1978

India's first Chief of Defence Staff General Bipin Rawat, his wife Madhulika Rawat, and 11 others died on Wednesday after their helicopter crashed in Coonoor in the southern state of Tamil Nadu.

 

Also read | Bipin Rawat, India's first Chief of Defence Staff: A life dedicated to nation

As soon as the news of Rawat's demise got confirmed, tributes started pouring in from all across the world.

The Pentagon top officials including Secretary of Defense Lloyd J Austin III, Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Gen Mark Milley and Pentagon spokesperson John Kirby condoled the demise of India's first CDS, General Bipin Rawat.

Pentagon spokesperson John Kirby read out US Secretary of Defense Lloyd J Austin III's statement. "Our deepest condolences to the Rawat family, the Indian military, and the people of India after the tragic death of Chief of Defense Staff General Bipin Rawat in a helicopter crash and the families of the other victims of the crash," said Kirby. Secretary Austin said that the department and he are "deeply saddened by this loss".

"Our thoughts and prayers are with the Rawat family and the families of the other victims of the crash. We are deeply saddened by this loss," said Austin.

"I and the Department extend our deepest condolences to the Rawat family, the Indian military, and the people of India after the tragic passing of Chief of Defense Staff General Bipin Rawat in a helicopter crash," added Austin. 

Also read | PM Modi leads condolences after India's CDS Gen Rawat dies in chopper crash

Sharing his experience of working with Rawat, he said that he left an indelible mark on the course of the US-India defence partnership.

The US Embassy and Consulates in India expressed their deepest condolences to the Rawat family and the families of those who perished in the tragic helicopter crash in Tamil Nadu.

''As India’s first Chief of Defence Staff, General Rawat spearheaded a historic period of transformation in the Indian military. He was a strong friend and partner of the United States, overseeing a major expansion of India’s defense cooperation with the US military,'' it said in a statement.

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken tweeted, ''My deep condolences on the deaths of Indian Chief of Defense Staff General Rawat, his wife, and colleagues who perished in today’s tragic accident. We'll remember Gen. Rawat as an exceptional leader who served his country and contributed to the U.S.-India defense relationship.''

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Chinese Ambassador to India Sun Weidong said, ''Deep condolences on the sad demise of CDS General Bipin Rawat, his wife and other victims in the helicopter crash accident. My sympathy goes to all the family members of General Bipin Rawat.''

Taiwan's Ministry of Foreign Affairs tweeted, ''Our heartfelt condolences to the family, friends & loved ones of Gen. Bipin Rawat, chief of defense staff, his wife & 11 others who lost their lives in the tragic helicopter crash. Taiwan grieves with India at this difficult time.''

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Minister of Foreign Affairs of the State of Israel, Yair Lapid tweeted, ''On behalf of the people of Israel, I extend my deepest condolences to the people and government of India on the loss of Chief of Defence Staff General Bipin Rawat, his wife, and the 11 other military personnel lost in today's tragic accident.''

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Meanwhile, Former Prime Minister of Israel, Benjamin Netanyahu said, ''I was deeply saddened to learn about the deadly helicopter crash that killed India's Chief of Defence Staff, General Bipin Rawat, his wife, and 11 others in Tamil Nadu. My thoughts and prayers are with the families of the victims. May they rest in peace.''

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Australia’s High Commissioner to India said, ''Our deepest sympathies to the families of CDS General Bipin Rawat, Madhulika Rawat & others on the helicopter.''

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British High Commissioner to India Alex Ellis said, Tragic news. Gen Rawat was a wise man, a brave soldier, a pioneer & a generous host to me only weeks ago. We mourn his death and that of his wife, and all killed in this terrible accident.''

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Prime Minister of Nepal Sher Bahadur Deuba tweeted, ''Deeply saddened by the tragic demise of Gen Bipin Rawat, his wife, and several defence officials in a helicopter crash. My heartfelt condolences to the bereaved families & the Indian Armed Forces.''

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Spokesperson Pakistan Armed Forces said, ''General Nadeem Raza, CJCSC & General Qamar Javed Bajwa, COAS express condolences on tragic death of CDS General Bipin Rawat, his wife and loss of precious lives in a helicopter crash in India.''

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Also read | Bipin Rawat, his wife among 13 killed in helicopter crash

Consulate General of Israel in Mumbai said, ''Participate in the mourning of India, for the death of Bipin Rawat, his wife and other 11 soldiers who killed in a helicopter crash. This is a sad day for India and its friends all over the world. Israeli tears from Mumbai.''

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Nepal Army's spokesperson said ''COAS Gen Prabhu Ram Sharma and all ranks of the Nepali Army pay their deepest condolences on the untimely demise of Gen Bipin Rawat, Mrs Rawat, and 11 others in the unfortunate accident.''

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Additional Directorate General of Public Information tweeted, ''General MM Naravane COAS & All Ranks of #IndianArmy pay heartfelt condolences on the untimely demise of General Bipin Rawat CDS, Mrs Madhulika Rawat & 11 other passengers on board, in an unfortunate air crash at Coonoor.''

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In his condolences to the families of the deceased in the helicopter crash in the Nilgiri Hills, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said he was deeply saddened by the death of General Bipin Rawat. He expressed his heartfelt condolences to the families of the deceased and to the government and people of India, said Stephane Dujarric, spokesman for the UN chief.

Watch | India mourns death of CDS General Bipin Rawat, mortal remains to arrive in Delhi today

Rawat, who is India's first Chief of Defence Staff, was appointed to the position by Prime Minister Narendra Modi's government in 2019.

The 63-year-old came from a military family with several generations having served in the Indian armed forces.

The general joined the army as a second lieutenant in 1978 and had four decades of service behind him, having commanded forces in Indian-administered Kashmir and along the Line of Actual Control bordering China.

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