New Delhi, Dec 8 (IANS) Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Wednesday expressed his condolences over the demise of Chief of Defence Staff, General Bipin Rawat, who along with his wife was among the 13 persons who were killed after an IAF chopper they were travelling in crashed near Coonoor in Tamil Nadu.
Taking to twitter, Shah said, "A very sad day for the nation as we have lost our Chief of Defence Staff, General Bipin Rawat Ji, in a very tragic accident. He was one of the bravest soldiers, who served the Motherland with utmost devotion. His exemplary contributions and commitment cannot be put into words. I am deeply pained."
In another tweet, he said: "I also express my deepest condolences on the sad demise of Smt. Madhulika Rawat and 11 other Armed Forces personnel. My thoughts and prayers are with the bereaved families. May God give them the strength to bear this tragic loss."
The Home Minster also said that he was praying for the speedy recovery of Group Captain Varun Singh, the lone survivor of the tragic crash.
The CDS was going to the Defence Services Staff College in Wellington to deliver a lecture when the crash happened.
The chopper, with 14 persons on board, took off from the Sulur air base near Coimbatore and was on its way to Wellington. When the chopper was a few minutes away from landing, it, as per eyewitnesses, hit a tree, crashed, and caught fire, resulting in several casualties.