Candle light tributes paid to Gen Bipin Rawat in Kashmir

Srinagar, Dec 9 (PTI) Candle light tributes were on Thursday paid at various places in Kashmir to General Bipin Rawat who, along with 12 others, was killed in a helicopter crash.

General Officer Commanding of the Army's Chinar Corps Lt Gen D P Pandey said the people of the Valley have lost more than anyone else in Gen Rawat's death.

Srinagar-based Defence PRO Col Emron Musavi said candle light tributes were paid to Gen Rawat in Baramulla, Kupwara, Keran and Machhal sector near the Line of Control (LoC).

Several people in these areas took out candle light vigils to pay homage to the Chief of Defence Staff.


Aggrieved by the sad and untimely demise of India's first CDS Gen Bipin Rawat, around 150 residents of Machhal village carried out a candle light march in his memory. They also paid homage to Mrs Madhulika Rawat and 11 other Army personnel who were also martyred in the tragic Mi-17 V5 crash at Coonor, TamilNadu, the PRO said.

He said Gen Rawat and Brigadier LS Lidder -- who was also killed in the helicopter accident -- had visited the Macchal Sector on July 27 this year.

The congregation kept two-minute silence for the departed souls and prayed for their eternal peace.

Gen Rawat will always be remembered by Kashmiris for his untiring efforts to ensure security and to bring in peace and stability in J&K, the PRO said.

He said locals in Keran paid tributes to Gen Rawat, along the banks of Kishanganga river. Candle lights marked the LoC at Keran sector.

Candle light tributes were also paid at Sherwani Hall in Baramulla town, Col Musavi said.

Earlier, a two-day condolence ceremony was organised at the Sherwani Hall to pay homage to India's first Chief of Defence Staff, he said.

GOC Chinar Corps Lt Gen Pandey, along with GOC Dagger Division Maj Gen Ajay Chandpuria and prominent persons from the civil and district administration, paid homage, he added.

Speaking to reporters after paying tributes to Gen Rawat who was GoC Dagger Division in Baramulla earlier in his career Lt Gen Pandey said the people of Baramulla have lost more than anyone else in his death.

I do not think I have seen the amount of love, connect which he (Gen Rawat) had with the people of Uri and Baramulla and with the people of whole Kashmir. If you see the dp (display picture on social media accounts) especially of the media-men, I think everyone has a picture with him, he said.

He said Gen Rawat used to attend phone calls from everyone from Baramulla.

He (Gen Rawat) would listen to their requirements and then he would call me and ask me to listen to their demands and help them. I am sure the people of Baramulla have lost more than anyone else, he said.

Describing the death of the CDS and others in the helicopter crash as a huge tragedy, the GoC said it will take a lot of time to come out of the grief.

I really wanted to come here to Baramulla where he was a GoC. He was also the commander of 5 Sector (RR) and the two tenures were close to his heart especially because of the people.

"I am sure you all must be feeling this loss like the Indian Army, armed forces and the whole country is feeling. His wife and others were also killed and this is a huge tragedy and it will take a lot of time for us to come out of this grief, Lt Gen Pandey said.