Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday condoled the demise of General Bipin Rawat and others who lost their lives in the recent helicopter crash in Tamil Nadu stating that the demise of India's first Chief of Defence Staff is a "great loss for every patriot."
The Prime Minister said that Gen Rawat was brave and worked hard to make the country's armed forces self-reliant. "The whole nation has been a witness to that," PM Modi said in his address at the inauguration ceremony of Saryu Nahar National Project in Uttar Pradesh's Balrampur.
"A soldier doesn't remain a soldier only as long as he stays in the military. His entire life is that of a warrior. He is dedicated to the discipline and pride of the country every moment," the Prime Minister said.
PM Modi expressed condolences to all brave warriors who died in the helicopter crash on December 8.
"Wherever General Bipin Rawat maybe, in the days to come, he will see India moving ahead with new resolutions," he added.
Further, the Prime Minister said that even in misery, "India will neither stop its pace nor its progress".
"India is mourning but despite being in pain, neither do we stop our pace nor our development. India won't stop. India won't be at a standstill. Together, we Indians will work hard and face every challenge inside and outside the country," he said.
General Rawat, his wife Madhulika Rawat and 11 other defence personnel were killed when a Mi17V5 helicopter carrying them crashed near Coonoor in Tamil Nadu on Wednesday last week.
Other 10 defence forces personnel who died in the chopper crash are Staff Officer Lieutenant Colonel Harjinder Singh, Wing Commander Prithvi Singh Chauhan, Squadron Leader Kuldeep Singh, Junior Warrant Officer Rana Pratap Das, Junior Warrant Officer Arakkal Pradeep, Havildar Satpal Rai, Naik Gursewak Singh, Naik Jitendra Kumar, Lance Naik Vivek Kumar and Lance Naik B Sai Teja.
Group Captain Varun Singh, the lone survivor in the crash, has been shifted to Air Force Command hospital at Bengaluru for further treatment.
Praying for a speedy recovery of the lone survivor of the crash, Group Captain Varun Singh, PM Modi said, "Doctors are working hard to save the life of Group Captain Varun Singh, a resident of Deoria, the son of UP. I pray to Maa Pateshwari to save his life. The nation stands with his family."
"The country also stands with the families who lost those brave soldiers," PM Modi said.
The Centre has ordered a 'tri service' inquiry into the accident. The inquiry will be headed by Air Marshal Manvendra Singh, Air Officer Commanding-in-Chief Training Command.