Twitterati mourned the loss of India’s first Chief of Defence Staff General Bipin Rawat, his wife Madhulika Rawat and 11 others who died in an IAF helicopter crash on Wednesday near Coonoor in Tamil Nadu.

The Mi-17VH chopper which took off from Sulur IAF Station near Coimbatore crashed owing to low visibility due to foggy conditions. The Chief of Defence Staff was on his way to the Defence Staff College in Wellington.

“Gen Bipin Rawat was an outstanding soldier. A true patriot, he greatly contributed to modernising our armed forces and security apparatus. His insights and perspectives on strategic matters were exceptional. His passing away has saddened me deeply. Om Shanti,” tweeted Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

“As India’s first CDS, Gen Rawat worked on diverse aspects relating to our armed forces including defence reforms. He brought with him a rich experience of serving in the Army. India will never forget his exceptional service,” the PM wrote in another tweet.

Tributes poured in for the army man soon after news of Rawat broke on social media. Here’ how netizens have been mourning the untimely loss of one of the nation’s most important defence persons.

Also read: IAF chopper with CDS Bipin Rawat onboard crashes; 4 killed, 3 injured

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