Defence Minister Rajnath Singh speaking in Parliament today announced that a tri-service inquiry has begun into the helicopter crash that killed Chief of Defence Staff Gen Bipin Rawat and 12 others.
Making a statement in the Lok Sabha, Rajnath Singh said that the inquiry, which has been set up to ascertain the cause of the accident of the IAF Mi-17V5 helicopter, will be headed Air Officer Commanding-in-Chief Training Command Air Marshal Manavendra Singh.
General Rawat, 63, was on his way to the Defence Services Staff College in Wellington where he was to deliver a lecture. His wife, president of the Defence Wives Welfare Association, was accompanying him along with members of the CDS staff.
Announcing General Rawat’s death, the IAF, in a Twitter post, said: “With deep regret, it has now been ascertained that Gen Bipin Rawat, Mrs Madhulika Rawat and 11 other persons on board have died in the unfortunate accident.”
Earlier, in the day, both houses of Parliament observed two minutes' silence for Chief of Defence Staff Bipin Rawat and 12 others who died in the crash in Tamil Nadu yesterday.
Take a look at who is Air Marshal Manvendra Singh and his credentials.
Air Marshal Manavendra Singh is currently serving as the Air Officer Commanding-in-Chief (AOC-in-C), Training Command. Prior to that, he served as Air Officer Commanding-in-Chief, Southern Air Command.
An alumnus of the National Defence Academy, Air Marshal Manavendra Singh was commissioned into the force on 29 December 1982 as a helicopter pilot.
The air officer has flown a wide variety of helicopters and trainer aircraft. He has over 6,600 hours of flying experience in various challenging sectors like the Siachen, the North East, Uttarakhand, the Western desert and Congo.
In a career spanning 39 years, Air Marshal Manavendra Singh has held a number of command and staff positions, including an IAF peacekeeping contingent in Bukavu in Congo.
Prior to his appointment as AOC-in-C, Southern Air command, he served as Director General of Inspection and Flight Safety.
The IAF Officer has been a recipient of presidential awards, Ati Vishisht Seva Medal, Vir Chakra and Vishisht Seva Medal.
According to his record history, Manavendra Singh has to his credit the successful carrying out of over 2000 operational missions and over 1000 sorties to the highest helipad in the hospitable terrain of the Siachen Glacier.
With inputs from agencies