Sanjay Raut on chopper tragedy: We claim to have modernised armed forces, how could this happen?
New Delhi, Dec 9: Shiv Sena leader Sanjay Raut on Thursday said the chopper tragedy has raised doubts in the minds of people. The incident, which occurred on Wednesday, killed Gen Bipin Rawat, India's first Chief of Defence Staff, his wife Madhulika and 11 other armed forces personnel.
The Rajya Sabha member claimed that Gen Rawat had played a key role in formulating the nation's military response against China and Pakistan in recent times. "So, when such an accident takes place, it raises doubts in the minds of the people," he said. He pointed out that the helicopter carrying Gen Rawat was a modern machine powered by two engines.
"We claim to have modernised the armed forces. How could this happen?" he wondered. Raut claimed that the entire country and the leadership may have been confounded by this accident, and the Defence Minister or the Prime Minister should eliminate all doubts.
The military copter crashed near Coonoor in Tamil Nadu. Out of 14, 13 died and Group Captain Varun Singh is the lone survivor of the crash. He is currently being treated at Command Hospital in Bengaluru.
The Shiv Sena leader also noted that Gen Rawat had also played a key role in the air strikes launched by India after the Pulwama attack.
In a tragic incident, the Mi17V5 helicopter is an advanced military transport chopper that has been with the Indian Air Force (IAF) since 2012.
Manufactured by Russian Helicopters' subsidiary Kazan, the helicopter has an onboard weather radar and is equipped with the latest generation of night vision devices. However, IAF's Mi17V5 chopper has been involved in quite a few incidents during the last decade, as per a PTI report.