The helicopter crash near Coonoor in Tamil Nadu killed India's first Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) General Bipin Rawat, his wife and 11 others.

BJP MP Subramanian Swamy talks to the media outside the ParliamentPTI file image
news Chopper crash Thursday, December 09, 2021 - 10:10

Rajya Sabha MP Subramanian Swamy on Wednesday, December 8, sought a probe by a senior Supreme Court Judge into the helicopter crash near Coonoor in Tamil Nadu that killed India's first Chief of Defence Staff (CDS), General Bipin Rawat, his wife and 11 others, The former Union Minister termed the incident as "shocking" and a big caution to national security.

"...final report has not come, so it is very difficult for me to say anything, but the mere fact that a military aircraft in a safe zone like Tamil Nadu, has blown up, it appears to be," Swamy said.

Speaking to reporters, he said, "it is something that requires very very serious investigation....the public has to be taken into confidence, so somebody, a senior Supreme Court Judge, should investigate the matter."

The Mi-17V5 helicopter of the Indian Air Force carrying General Rawat, appointed as CDS in 2019, and his entourage crashed at 12.20 pm in Tamil Nadu’s Coonoor on Wednesday, December 8. The crash occurred in apparently foggy conditions, killing the 14 people on board, the IAF and other officials said. One person, Group Captain Varun Singh, survived the crash and is being treated at a hospital. The helicopter was travelling from Sulur IAF base to Defence Services College in Wellington and had crashed onto a steep slope at Katteri Park in Nanjappanchathiram area. An inquiry has been launched by the IAF into the incident.

Also read: CDS chopper crash: Mi17V5 is advanced transport helicopter with IAF since 2012

General Bipin Rawat was born in Pauri, Uttarakhand, on March 16, 1958. His family had been serving in the Indian Army for multiple generations. His father Laxman Singh Rawat was from Sainj village of the Pauri Garhwal district and rose to the rank of Lt General. Rawat attended Cambrian Hall School in Dehradun and St. Edward's School, Shimla. When he was a lieutenant general, Rawat had a close shave when a Cheetah helicopter carrying him crashed seconds after taking off from the Rangapahar helipad in Nagaland's Dimapur district on February 2, 2015.

With PTI inputs

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