Thimphu [Bhutan], December 8 (ANI): Bhutan Prime Minister Lotay Tshering on Wednesday expressed condolences over the demise of Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) General Bipin Rawat, his wife Madhulika Rawat, and 11 other personnel of the Armed Forces in a tragic helicopter crash in upper Coonoor, Tamil Nadu on Wednesday afternoon.
He also offered prayers on behalf of the people of Bhutan for India and the bereaved families.
"Heartaching to learn of helicopter crash in India, claiming 13 precious lives, including the Chief of Defense Staff Gen. Bipin Rawat and wife. The people of Bhutan and I offer prayers for India and the bereaved families. May you find the strength to see through the tragedy," he tweeted.
In a separate tweet, Bhutanese Minister for Foreign Affairs Tandi Dorji also expressed condolences and said that it is a "huge loss to India and the military."
"Deeply saddened on the tragic loss of lives including the Chief of Defense Staff Gen.Bipin Rawat, his wife, and 11 other Armed Forces personnel today. A huge loss to India and the military. Our heartfelt prayers for the victims & their families," Tandi Dorji tweeted.
Earlier, the Indian Air Force tweeted: "With deep regret, it has now been ascertained that General Bipin Rawat, Madhulika Rawat, and 11 other persons on board have died in the unfortunate accident."
General Rawat, a veteran of counterinsurgency warfare, served in the most difficult terrains including northern and eastern commands.CDS Rawat was commissioned into the Indian Army in December 1978. He previously served as Chief of the Army Staff from January 2017 to December 2019. (ANI)