India's deceased CDS, his wife cremated with full military honors

Source: Xinhua| 2021-12-10 21:18:32|Editor: huaxia
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NEW DELHI, Dec. 10 (Xinhua) -- The cremation of India's Chief of Defense Staff (CDS) General Bipin Rawat and his wife Madhulika Rawat was held Friday with full military honors in the Indian capital.

The duo was among 13 people killed in a military helicopter crash in Tamil Nadu on Wednesday.

The bodies of Gen. Rawat and his wife were kept at their Delhi residence for the public to pay their final respects.

Later on, the bodies were taken to the Brar Square crematorium for the funeral. Rawat was accorded a 17-gun salute and 800 service personnel attended his funeral.

All the three chiefs of the Army, the Navy and the Air Force were present during the funeral. Indian Defense Minister Rajnath Singh together with other government ministers, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and dignitaries were also present on the spot.

Separately funeral of Brigadier L.S. Lidder was held at Delhi cantonment with full military honors earlier in the day.

So far only three of the 13 bodies have been identified and the other bodies have been kept at the mortuary in the army base hospital until they are identified.

The helicopter with 14 people on board crashed on Wednesday at Coonoor area of Nilgiris district, about 538 km southwest of Chennai, the capital city of Tamil Nadu.

The sole survivor in the crash is on life support.

Indian Air Force (IAF) has ordered a tri-service enquiry into the helicopter crash and the investigation will be led by Air Marshal Manavendra Singh.

"IAF has constituted a tri-service Court of Inquiry to investigate the cause of the tragic helicopter accident on Dec. 8. The inquiry would be completed expeditiously and facts brought out. Till then, to respect the dignity of the deceased, uninformed speculation may be avoided," IAF said in a brief statement.

The 63-year-old Rawat was India's first CDS. He took charge on Dec. 31, 2019, after serving as the army chief for a full three-year term. CDS is the topmost military general in India and the position was set up with the aim of integrating the three services -- the Army, the Navy and the Air Force.

On Thursday Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the country's top military brass paid homage to Rawat, his wife and 11 other defense personnel at the Palam airbase.

"Paid my last respects to Gen. Bipin Rawat, his wife and other personnel of the Armed Forces. India will never forget their rich contribution," Modi wrote on Twitter. Enditem

KEY WORDS: India,CDS,Cremation