A wreath laying ceremony was organized at the Hut of Remembrance at National Defence Academy on 11 December 2021 in memory of General Bipin Rawat, PVSM, UYSM, AVSM, YSM, SM, ADC, Chief of Defence Staff, Brigadier Lakhbinder Singh Lidder, SM, VSM and Wing Commander Prithvi Singh Chauhan, who lost their lives during a helicopter crash in Coonoor district of Tamil Nadu on 08 December 2021.
Air Marshal Sanjeev Kapoor AVSM VM, Commandant, NDA paid homage to the brave hearts in a solemn ceremony on behalf of the NDA fraternity. All key officials of the Academy were present to pay their last respect to the departed souls. General Bipin Rawat, PVSM, UYSM, AVSM, YSM, SM, ADC, Chief of Defence Staff was an alumnus of the 53rd NDA Course, Charlie Squadron and having served the nation as the 27th Chief of the Army Staff rose to become the 1st Chief of Defence Staff in January 2020. The ‘Hut of Remembrance’ book read that “Rarely a General goes with his boots on. General Rawat etched his name in the Hut of Remembrance at NDA as the senior most soldier to die in line of duty. That’s his glory.”
Brigadier Lakhbinder Singh Lidder, SM, VSM was an alumnus of 77th NDA Course, India Squadron. The officer was approved for the next rank of Major General and was due to take over a division. The officer was carrying out duties of the Defence Assistant to the Chief of Defence Staff. Wing Commander Prithvi Singh Chauhan was an alumnus of the 100th NDA Course, Foxtrot Squadron. He was Commanding Officer of the 109 Helicopter Unit and was flying the MI-17 helicopter of the Chief of Defence Staff during this ill-fated accident.
Today as their names get inscribed in golden letters with full military honour in the sacred Hut of Remembrance, their martyrdom will continue to inspire future generations of NDA cadets. The NDA fraternity offers heartfelt condolences to the bereaved families in this hour of grief.