ITANAGAR, 8 Dec: Governor BD Mishra and Chief Minister Pema Khandu have expressed grief over the demise of chief of defence staff (CDS) Gen Bipin Rawat, his wife Madhulika and other defence personnel in a helicopter crash in Tamil Nadu on Wednesday.
Paying tributes to Gen Rawat, the governor said that, in his passing away, India has lost a great patriot, a strategist, a gallant soldier and an outstanding general.
“General Rawat as the chief of the army staff and as the chief of the defence staff
had taken many revolutionary steps to raise the capability, credibility, fighting ability and deterrence values of the Indian Army, and the strategic integration of the various arms and services for the Indian armed forces. He always stressed on optimum use of the national and military resources and initiated several exceptional austerity measures,” the governor said.
As the CDS, Gen Rawat started the innovative concept of ‘integrated battle groups’ and, more importantly, the ‘theatre command’, Mishra said.
“Gen Rawat was a friend of the people of Arunachal Pradesh. He always took the best steps for the security of the people of the state, while supporting all welfare projects of the state,” the governor said, recalling his meeting with the CDS in New Delhi on 12 November, during which they discussed issues related to border security, border areas’ development and recruitment of youths from the state in the Indian armed forces.
The governor said that Gen Rawat had endorsed waiving off of a huge sum of dues of the state with the Indian Air Force and strongly backed the construction of strategic roads in Arunachal.
Taking to Twitter, Khandu wrote: “Extremely saddened by the heart wrenching news of sad demise of CDS Gen Bipin Rawat Ji, his wife Madam Madhulika Rawat Ji and 11 other defence personnel on board today’s ill-fated chopper.”
“I join entire nation in mourning the loss of brave souls. May the departed attain sadgati (salvation),” Khandu added. (Raj Bhavan & PTI)