NEW DELHI: Chief of Defence Staff General Bipin Rawat and his wife Madhulika Rawat were cremated with full military honours at the Brar Square crematorium here on Friday.
Gen Rawat, his wife, and 11 other defence personnel were killed when a Mi17V5 helicopter carrying them crashed near Coonoor in Tamil Nadu on Wednesday.
The mortal remains of General Bipin Rawat and his wife were cremated at Brar Square cremation ground. Their two daughters performed the last rites.
Defence Minister Rajnath Singh, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, Union minister Kiren Rijiju, Ambassador of France to India Emmanuel Lenain, and British High Commissioner to India Alex Ellis were among several others who paid tribute to Gen Rawat and his wife at the crematorium.
Defence officials of several countries also paid tribute to them. The CDS was accorded a 17-gun salute, according to laid down protocols.
A ceremonial battery of 2233 Field Regiment provided gun carriage. About 800 service personnel were in attendance for the military funeral of the CDS.
The final journey of Gen Rawat and his wife began amid chants of ‘Jab tak suraj chand rahega, Rawat ji ka naam rahega’.
As India’s first CDS, he was tasked with bringing in theatre command and jointness among the three services, and he was pushing these with a tough approach and specific timelines in the last two years.
The mortal remains were kept at their official residence here before cremation, to allow people to pay respects.
Earlier in the day, right outside his official residence at 3, Kamraj Marg, several people who had gathered, raised slogans of ‘Bharat Mata Ki Jai’, ‘Gen Rawat amar rahe’, and ‘Uttarakhand ka heera amar rahe’, while dignitaries payed floral tributes and last respects till the funeral procession left the bungalow.
General Rawat’s two daughters performed traditional rituals before the caskets of their parents were moved to the gun carriage.
Home Minister Amit Shah, National Security Advisor Ajit Doval and Congress leader Rahul Gandhi, and a host of other dignitaries, among others on Friday laid wreaths on the mortal remains of General Rawat and his wife.