PM “Extremely Anguished” By Group Captain Varun Singh’s Death


Group Captain Varun Singh (File)

New Delhi:

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has conveyed his ‘extreme anguish’ at the death of Air Force Group Captain Varun Singh – who had been pulled alive, against all odds, from a helicopter crash last week that instantly killed 13 people, including Chief of Defence Staff Gen Bipin Rawat and his wife.

“Group Captain Varun Singh served the nation with pride, valour and utmost professionalism. I am extremely anguished by his passing away. His rich service to the nation will never be forgotten. Condolences to his family and friends. Om Shanti,” the Prime Minister tweeted.

President Ram Nath Kovind, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh and Home Minister Amit Shah also tweeted condolences. President Kovind said the nation was grateful for the Group Captain’s service and that he “displayed the soldierly spirit of valour and indomitable courage“.

“Pained beyond words to learn of the demise of IAF pilot, Group Captain Varun Singh. He was a true fighter who fought till his last breath. My thoughts and deepest condolences are with his family and friends. We stand firmly with the family, in this hour of grief,” the Defence Minister tweeted.

Amit Shah said he was “deeply pained” by the news.

The Congress also tweeted, saying: “A billion salutes to this brave son of Bharat Mata.”

Group Captain Singh died this morning at the Command Hospital (Air Force) in Bengaluru, where he was being treated for 90-95 per cent burns after the chopper crash in Tamil Nadu’s Nilgiri Hills.

The Indian Air Force tweeted to confirm the Group Captain’s death.

“The IAF is deeply saddened to inform the passing away of braveheart Group Captain Varun Singh, who succumbed this morning to the injuries sustained in the helicopter accident on 08 Dec 21. IAF offers sincere condolences and stands firmly with the bereaved family,” the Air Force said.

Yesterday an Air Force official told news agency ANI that the Group Captain’s condition was stable, but added that he continued to be in critical condition. The official said he was on life support.


The chopper crash in Tamil Nadu’s Nilgiri Hills killed all 14 on board, including CDS Gen Bipin Rawat

Group Captain Varun Singh – who wrote an inspiring letter to his alma mater in September – was recently conferred with the Shaurya Chakra by President Ram Nath Kovind.

The Air Force’s Mi-17V5 chopper that crashed in Tamil Nadu last week was carrying CDS Gen Bipin Rawat and his wife to the Defence Staff Services College in Wellington, near Ooty.

Gen Rawat was to address staff and students, and Group Captain Singh had gone to the Sulur Air Force base in Tamil Nadu’s Coimbatore to receive the CDS.

Gen Rawat and his wife, Madhulika Rawat, were cremated with full military honours at Delhi’s Brar Square Crematorium two days after the crash.

The General’s top aide, Brigadier LS Lidder, was also cremated at Brar Square. The bodies of the others had been sent to their hometowns, where their last rites were performed with honour.

With input from ANI