Condolences over the demise of Chief of Defence Staff Gen Bipin Rawat poured in on Wednesday from several countries, including the US, Russia, China and Pakistan.
Gen Rawat, his wife Madhulika and 11 other people on board an Indian Air Force helicopter died in a crash near Coonoor in Tamil Nadu on Wednesday, the Air Force said.
The US Embassy extended its deepest condolences to the Rawat family and the families of those who perished in the crash.
As India’s first Chief of Defence Staff, General Rawat spearheaded a historic period of transformation in the Indian military, the US mission said in a statement.
Gen Rawat was a strong friend and partner of the United States, overseeing a major expansion of India’s defense cooperation with the US military, it said.
“In September, he spent five days travelling throughout the US as part of a counterpart visit with General Mark Milley to discuss military developments and opportunities to enhance our cooperation with like-minded countries. His legacy will continue on,” the Embassy said.
“Our thoughts are with the Indian people and the Indian military, and we pray for Group Captain Varun Singh’s full recovery,” it said.
Chinese ambassador to India Sun Weidong extended “deep condolences on the sad demise of CDS General Bipin Rawat, his wife and other victims in the helicopter crash”.
“My sympathy goes to all the family members of General Bipin Rawat,” he said.
Bhutanese premier Lotay Tshering said it was heartaching to learn of the helicopter crash. “People of Bhutan and I offer prayers for India and the bereaved families. May you find strength to see through the tragedy,” he said.