The mortal remains of Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) General Bipin Rawat, his wife Madhulika Rawat and other personnel, who died in a chopper crash in Tamil Nadu on Wednesday, reached Palam Airbase in Delhi at around 8:00 pm on Thursday.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi was the first to pay his respects to Gen Rawat and other Armed Forces personnel.
Defence Minister Rajnath Singh and other ministers are expected to follow in paying respects. National Security Advisor Ajit Doval and three Services chiefs are also present in the venue.
Minister of State for Defence Ajay Bhatt and Defence Secretary Ajay Kumar will also be paying respects to the deceased.
Some of the family members of the deceased are present on the occasion.
On Wednesday, CDS Gen Rawat died when an Mi-17V5 helicopter crashed near Coonoor of Tamil Nadu. The General along with his wife were on their way to Wellington from Sulur airbase when the crash happened.
The mortal remains of only three of the victims have been positively identified so far. These include – CDS Bipin Rawat, Mrs Madhulika Rawat, and Brig LS Lidder. Their mortal remains will be handled over their next of kin for final religious rites as desired by respective families.
CDS General Bipin Rawat was appointed the first tri-service chief with effect from December 31, 2019, after the government announced the creation of the Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) post. The formation of the CDS post was announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in 2019 during his Independence Day speech.