Group Captain Varun Singh's body reaches Bhopal, last rites tomorrow
Bengaluru, Dec 16: The mortal remains of Group Captain Varun Singh, who died at a military hospital in Bengaluru after surviving in a chopper crash in Tamil Nadu, were on Thursday brought to Bhopal, where his family members reside.
The mortal remains arrived in a special plane at the city airport around 3 pm. After the guard of honour, Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan, military and other officials paid floral tributes to the decorated air warrior, official sources said.
Chouhan met the Group Captain's grieving family members and consoled them.
The coffin draped in the tricolour was kept in a decorated army vehicle, behind which Chouhan, medical education minister Vishvash Sarang and local MLA Rameshwar Sharma and the armed forces personnel walked for some distance as a mark of respect.
The mortal remains later reached the Inner Court Apartment, where the group captain's family resides in Suncity locality near the airport. People were seen carrying national flag and raising slogans of 'Vande mataram' and 'Bharat mata ki jai'.
Family members performed rituals before the coffin was taken inside the apartment.
The last rites will be performed at Bairagarh cremation ground around 11 am on Friday, the sources said.
Earlier in the day, Chouhan said the Madhya Pradesh government will give "Samman Nidhi" of Rs 1 crore to the kin of the officer.
"The state government will give Rs 1 crore Samman Nidhi to the family of the martyred Group Captain Varun Singh and in consultation with them, install his statue, name an institution after him and also offer a job to his kin in the state government as per the laid down practices," he told reporters here.
Chouhan said that the funeral will take place with full military and state honours.
"The Group Captain was an amazing warrior and he had defeated death earlier also...but now he is no more with us. His last rites will be performed with full military and state honours. I have spoken to his father also who is also very brave. This family is now the family of the nation and the state," Chouhan said.
"The country will never forget his valour and he will always be alive in our memories," Chouhan said.
Group Captain Varun Singh died at a military hospital in Bengaluru on Wednesday after surviving the last week's chopper crash in Tamil Nadu that killed Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) Gen Bipin Rawat, his wife and 11 armed forces personnel.
The air warrior was conferred with the Shaurya Chakra, India's third highest peacetime gallantry award, in August this year for displaying exemplary composure and skill when his Tejas aircraft developed a technical snag during the sortie.
The 39-year-old officer, who was known to be an excellent test pilot, is survived by an 11-year-old son, an eight-year-old daughter and his wife. His younger brother Tanuj Singh is also posted as Lieutenant Commander in the Indian Navy.
The Group Captain's family originally hails from Ghazipur in Uttar Pradesh. He was admitted to a hospital in Wellington in Tamil Nadu with severe burn injuries on Wednesday last following the helicopter crash.
A day later, he was shifted to the Command Hospital in Bengaluru but after battling for life nearly a week he succumbed to his injuries on Wednesday.