New Delhi: The mortal remains of Chief of Defence Staff General Bipin Rawat, his wife Madhulika Rawat and 11 other armed forces personnel, who lost their lives in the tragic chopper crash near Coonoor in Tamil Nadu on Wednesday, were brought to the Palam airport here at 7:46 pm on Thursday.
“The Indian Airforce aircraft from Sulur arrived at Palam airbase,” a senior Indian Army officer said.
Indian Air Force chief Air Chief Marshal V.R. Chaudhari brought the mortal remains of all the deceased.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh and senior dignitaries are expected to pay homage to the country’s first Chief of Defence Staff, and the other deceased persons.
The force said that positive identification of only three mortal remains — Gen Rawat, Madhulika Rawat and Brig L.S. Lidder — has been possible as of now, and their mortal remains will be released to the next of kin for final rites as desired by the respective families.
All possible measures are being taken for positive identification of the mortal remains. The remaining mortal remains will be kept at the mortuary of Army Base Hospital till completion of positive identification formalities, the force said.
Close family members of all the deceased personnel have arrived at Delhi. All necessary assistance and support are being provided by Indian Army.
Appropriate military funerals of all the deceased are being planned and coordinated in close consultation with the close family members.
Earlier in the day, all the mortal remains were moved in a convoy from Wellington to Sulur at around 12 noon. From Sulur, the mortal remains were flown to Delhi in an Indian Air Force aircraft.
The condition of Group Captain Varun Singh, who survived the crash, is still critical. He has been moved to to the Command Hospital in Bengaluru for further treatment.