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Uttarakhand CM Dhami announces three-day state mourning over CDS General Bipin Rawat's death

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Uttarakhand Chief Minister Pushkar Singh Dhami pays homage to General Rawat (Photo: IANS)

The Uttarakhand government has declared a three-day state mourning over the death of Chief of Defence Staff Gen. Bipin Rawat in a helicopter crash in Coonoor in Tamil Nadu.

Chief Minister Pushkar Singh Dhami described his death as an "irreparable loss to the country and said Uttarakhand will always be proud of its son". General Rawat hailed from Saina village of Pauri district.

The state will observe the mourning from December 9 to 12.

Dhami added: "The country will always remember the courageous decisions taken by him for the security of the borders and the contribution made by him to keep the morale of the armed forces always high".

In his condolence message issued here, Dhami prayed for peace to the departed souls.

Former CM Trivendra Singh Rawat, who is from Pauri, said: "Gen. Rawat's departure has sent the entire Uttarakhand in a state of shock".

As per protocol, the national flag will fly at half-mast on all government buildings. Also, the government will not hold any official event for entertainment purposes.

The two-day winter session of the Uttarakhand assembly, which was to begin from December 9 will now start from December 10.

General Rawat, his wife Madhulika Rawat and 11 other defence personnel were killed when their helicopter, an Mi-17 V5, crashed while on its way to Wellington in the Nilgiri Hills where Gen. Rawat had to address a gathering of the Defence Services Staff College.

Only Air Force Group Captain Varun Singh, who had gone to receive the general, survived the crash. The Indian Air Force has ordered an inquiry into the accident.

General Bipin Rawat, architect of military reforms, leaves a big hole in India’s security edifice