Locals in Tamil Nadu showered flower petals on vehicles carrying the mortal remains of Chief of Defence General Bipin Rawat, his wife and 11 armed forces personnel who died in the Indian Air Force (IAF) chopper crash in Coonoor on Wednesday.
In a video shared by ANI news agency, locals can be seen chanting “Bharat Mata ki Jai”and showering flower petals on the ambulances carrying the mortal remains of the deceased while they were on their way to Sulur airbase from Madras Regimental Centre in Nilgiris district.
The mortal remains of General Bipin Rawat and his wife Madhulika Rawat are expected to arrive in Delhi in a military plane by Thursday evening.
The last rites will be performed on Friday in Delhi Cantonment area. The mortal remains would be brought to General Rawat’s house on Friday and people would be allowed to pay their last respects from 11 am to 2 pm. Following this, the funeral procession will start from Kamaraj Marg to Brar Square crematorium in Delhi Cantonment.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh, MoS Defence Ajay Bhatt and NSA Ajit Doval are expected to pay tribute to the mortal remains of General Bipin Rawat, his wife and 11 other personnel at the Palam Technical Area on Thursday evening, sources said.
Close family members of all the deceased personnel have also started arriving in Delhi. Their assistance will be taken for positive identification of the bodies, in addition to scientific measures. The mortal remains will be released to the next of kin only after positive identification.
The severity of an air crash has led to difficulty in positive identification of mortal remains.
General Rawat, who along with his wife, and 11 others lost their lives in a chopper crash in Tamil Nadu’s Coonoor on Wednesday, is survived by his two daughters. His younger sister and brother would also be present for the cremation.
General Rawat and the others were on board an Indian Air Force Mi-17V5 helicopter, which took off from the Sulur IAF base near Coimbatore on Wednesday. He was on his way to Defence Services Staff College in Wellington to attend an event, when the accident occurred. The death of General Rawat was confirmed by the IAF.