New Delhi, Dec 12 : General Bipin Rawat was an extraordinary military leader, and his death has created a void that cannot be filled, President Ram Nath Kovind on Saturday.
The President was speaking on the occasion of review of the Passing Out Parade of the Indian Military Academy in Dehradun.
India’s first Cheif of Defence Staff General Bipin Rawat, his wife and 11 other armed forces personnel were killed in an IAF chopper crash near Coonoor in Tamil Nadu on Wednesday.
The President said, “We gathered here today when the nation is yet to come out of the shock of the untimely demise of General Bipin Rawat, the Chief of Defence Staff. Uttarakhand was his home and he was trained at the Indian Military Academy.
“At the IMA, he was awarded the Sword of Honour for his exceptional skills. But for the tragedy, he would have been among us here today, looking at the passing-out parade with delight and pride for the cadets.”
The President said that General Rawat added to the glory of the IMA, which is an institution with an inspiring tradition. Before him, Field Marshal K.M. Cariappa, Field Marshal Sam Manekshaw and many other extraordinary warriors and strategists began their journey from here as young cadets and potential leaders.
Some of them laid down their lives for the safety and honour of the nation, the President said, as he expressed confidence that the gentlemen cadets, who would shortly embark on their journey of a life characterised by valour and wisdom, would carry forward the rich legacy of this academy.
Congratulating the cadets on the successful completion of their training at the IMA, the President said that their service and dedication as soldiers and leaders shall add to the strength of a peaceful, independent and democratic India.
He said, “We should recall the iconic status acquired by one of the many illustrious alumni of the academy, General Rawat, who with his hard work emerged as the role model of soldierly conduct for the future generation.”
The President was happy to see gentlemen cadets from friendly foreign countries of Afghanistan, Bhutan, Maldives, Myanmar, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Tajikistan, Tanzania, Turkmenistan and Vietnam at the parade.
He said, “We cherish the special bond between our nations, and it is a matter of great pride for India to have such fine officers and gentlemen Bipin Rawat from friendly foreign countries graduating today.”