CDS Rawat: The general who reduced militancy in Northeast and planned the surgical strikes
New Delhi, Dec 08: In a tragic incident, India's first Chief of Defence Staff General Bipin Rawat has died in a chopper crash that took place in Nilgiris, Tamil Nadu today.
With deep regret, it has now been ascertained that Gen Bipin Rawat, Mrs Madhulika Rawat and 11 other persons on board have died in the unfortunate accident, the Indian Air Force said in a tweet.
In his 40 glorious years of service, Rawat has served in different capacities including holding positions of a Brigade Commander, General Officer Commanding-in-Chief (GOC-C) Southern Command, Colonel Military Secretary, General Staff Officer Grade-2 at the Military Operations Directorate and Deputy Military Secretary in the Military Secretary's Branch and Senior Instructor in the Junior Command Wing.
Who was General Bipin Rawat?
Rawat, a four-star general of the Indian Army, was known as a general who brings enormous experinece to the table, a challenging man, not afraid of taking tough calls. The CDC chief had the ability to think out of the box and take challenging decisions without bothering about the critics.
Myanmar surgical strike
Rawat had over ten years' experience in counter-insurgency operations along the Line of Control, and he is credited with the surgical strikes in Myanmar.
The general is also credited for reducing militacy in the Northeast region. Rawat monitored the surgical strikes following terrorist attack on the Uri base camp of the Indian Army.
In June 2015, eighteen Indian soldiers were killed in an ambush by militants belonging to the United Liberation Front of Western South East Asia (UNLFW) in Manipur. The Indian Army responded with cross-border strikes, which was then commanded by Rawat.
1987 Sino-Indian skirmish
During the 1987 face off in the Sumdorong Chu valley, Rawat's battalion was deployed against the Chinese People's Liberation Army. The standoff was the first military confrontation along the disputed McMahon Line after the 1962 war.
He was the first and current Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) of India. On 30 December 2019, he was appointed as the first CDS of India and assumed office from 1 January 2020.
Rawat's military background
Born in Uttharakhand's Pauri, Rawat had a military background. His family had been serving in the Indian Army for multiple generations. His father Laxman Singh Rawat was from Sainj village of the Pauri Garhwal district and rose to the rank of Lieutenant General.
Rawat joined the Indian Army in December 1978 and was commissioned into the 5/11 Gorkha Rifles.
Rawat headed the Indian brigade during the UN peacekeeping operation in the Democratic Republic of the Congo in 2008. Rawat had a truly outstanding tour.
Rawat had miraculous escape in 2015
In 2015, Rawat had a narrow escape after a chopper accident when he was the commander of the Dimapur-based Headquarters 3 Corps.
The chopper had crashed minutes after taking off and two pilots and a Colonel too survived the crash while Rawat had sustained minor injuries.
Man of vast experience
He had vast experience in operations across a wide spectrum of conflict and terrain profiles.
He commanded an Infantry battalion along the Line of Actual Control in the Eastern Sector, an Infantry Division in the Kashmir Valley, and a Corps in the North East.
He had also commanded a multinational brigade in the Democratic Republic of Congo (MONUC).
Gen Rawat was a graduate of the Defence Services Staff College, Wellington, the Higher Command and National Defence College courses and, has attended the Command and General Staff Course at Fort Leavenworth, the US.
For his service to the country, Rawat has been decorated with prestegious awards like the Param Vishisht Seva Medal, Uttam Yudh Seva Medal, Ati Vishisht Seva Medal, Vishisht Seva Medal, Yudh Seva Medal and Sena Medal.