The tragic Mi-17 V5 helicopter crash in Tamil Nadu's Coonoor district that killed Chief of Defence Staff General Bipin Rawat and his wife, Madhulika Rawat, also ended the lives of 11 other defence service personnel.
As we mourn the lives lost, here’s a quick profile on the 11 other personnel.
Brigadier HS Lidder
Brigadier Lakhbinder Singh Lidder was serving as the Defence Adviser to the Chief of Defence Staff.
A second-generation army officer, he had been on Bipin Rawat's staff for more than a year. Brig Lidder was due for a promotion shortly and was to serve as the General officer Commanding of a Division.
Brig Lidder published several military papers, his last being published in the Centre for Land Warfare Studies journal.
Tributes quickly poured in for Brig Lidder.
We trained together at #NDA. We fought terrorists together in #Kashmir. In the loss of Brig LS Lidder, SM, VSM today, India has lost one of its brightest & bravest officers & I have lost a friend. A decorated soldier, caring husband & doting father, you will be missed, Tony. pic.twitter.com/4cIV5WEtVr
— RajyavardhanRathore (@Ra_THORe) December 8, 2021
Lt Col Harjinder Singh
Lt Col Harjinder Singh, belonged to 11 Gorkha Rifles, the same regiment as Rawat. Originally from Lucknow, Lt Col Singh, served as Staff Officer to the CDS.
According to reported information, Lt Col Singh had been deployed to the Siachen Glacier and also served a tenure in the United Nations Peacekeeping Mission.
Havildar Satpal Rai
Havildar Satpal Rai of Takdah, Darjeeling, was the Personal Security Officer of CDS General Bipin Rawat.
Naik Gursewak Singh
Naik Gursewak Singh of the 9 Para Special Forces was serving as the Principal Staff Officer to the CDS.
Naik Gursewak Singh is survived by his father, who works as a daily-wager, wife and three children — two daughters and a son. He was on leave and had rejoined duty two weeks ago.
Naik Jitendra Kumar
Naik Jitendra Kumar from 3 Para SF was also a PSO to Gen Rawat.
Naik Jitendra Kumar, one of Rawat's Personal Security Officers, belonged to Dhamanda village in Sehore district in Madhya Pradesh.
Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan on Wednesday paid tributes to Naik Jitendra Kumar, a "son of the soil".
मध्यप्रदेश की माटी के सपूत जितेंद्र कुमार जी को सादर श्रद्धांजलि। जिस हृदय विदारक हेलीकॉप्टर हादसे ने सीडीएस बिपिन रावत जी को हमसे छीन लिया, उसी में सीहोर के पुत्र ने कर्तव्य निर्वहन करते हुए प्राण गवां दिए। ईश्वर दिवंगत आत्मा को शांति प्रदान कर श्रीचरणों में स्थान दें।
।ॐ शांति। pic.twitter.com/M8i2NmzcWb
— Shivraj Singh Chouhan (@ChouhanShivraj) December 8, 2021
“Tribute to Jitendra Kumar ji, son of the soil of Madhya Pradesh. Son of Sehore also lost his life while discharging his duty in the heart-wrenching helicopter tragedy that took away CDS Bipin Rawat ji. May God grant peace to the departed soul,” Chouhan said in a tweet.
Lance Naik B Sai Teja
Lance Naik B Sai Teja, who served as the Personal Security Officer or (PSO) of General Rawat, bagged the position just seven months ago.
Hailing from Chittoor district of Andhra Pradesh, the 27-year-old joined the Indian Army in 2012.
According to a News18 report, Lance Naik Sai Teja reportedly last visited his family in September to celebrate Ganesh Chaturthi festival.
Other personnel who died following the helicopter crash are: Lance Naik Vivek Kumar, Wing Commander P S Chauhan, Squadron Leader K Singh, Junior Warrant Officer Das, Junior Warrant Officer Pradeep A
With inputs from agencies