HEARTFELT HOMAGE TO ALL THE MARTYRS IN THE RECENT HELICOPTER TRAGIC
The military helicopter accident near Kannur in Tamil Nadu has shocked everyone, after an IAF Mi- 17 V5 helicopters crashed in Kannur, Tamil Nadu on Wednesday of December 8, 2021. In this accident, 13 brave sons of the country, including Chief of Defense Staff (CDS) lost their lives , the nation shall forever remember the contribution of the braveheart while serving our country.
JUNIOR WARRANT OFFICER PRADEEP ARAKKAL
Junior Warrant Officer Pradeep Arakkal, a native of Ponnu kara in Thrissur district, was among those martyred in the tragic helicopter incident. His neighbors fondly remember him, for his charity work of buying medicines and other items with his money for the needy people in his hometown. The Government of Kerala had also honored him for being a part of the mission. He had joined the Air Force in 2004, was posted at the Sulur airbase in Coimbatore. He also participated in anti-Naxal operations in Chhattisgarh and flood relief operations in Uttarakhand. According to his mother, he had informed her over the phone that she had got an opportunity to accompany the Chief of Defence Staff. He was one of the two flight gunners on board the helicopter that crashed.
NAIK GURSEWAK SINGH
Naik Gursevak, a resident of Tarn Taran in Punjab. He joined the armed forces in 2004 and had served in the border areas of Jammu and Kashmir such as Poonch, Rajouri, South and North Kashmir. He was also a demolition specialist and the best student in the leadership course. Singh was an expert in unarmed warfare and close-quarter battle and was associated with CDS General Bipin Rawat for the last three years.
HAVILDAR SATPAL RAI
Havildar Satpal Rai, a 41 year old Darjeeling resident who served in the 5/11 Gorkha Rifles in Punjab, was the personal security officer of General CDS Bipin Rawat. He was martyred in the tragic Indian Air Force chopper crash that took place on Dec 8, 2021. He had served the nation for the past 21 years and was highly regarded by the CDS General Bipin Rawat.
LIEUTENANT GENERAL HARJINDER SINGH
Harjinder Singh, Lieutenant General, Colonel, a writer, and an author of the book titled ‘Establishing India’s Military Readiness Concerns and Strategy,’ was commissioned into the Indian Army in September 2001. He served as a Staff Officer to the CDS and belonged to 11 Gorkha Rifles, the same regiment as Bipin Rawat, India’s first Chief of Defence Staff. Harinder Singh has served in a range of significant capacities in the Indian Army.
He was regarded as a counter-insurgency specialist. In October 2011, Singh commanded a Rashtriya Rifles battalion in North Kashmir and was a member of a United Nations peacekeeping operation in Congo, where he commanded the Nord Kivu Brigade. He was designated as the Commander of the Fire and Fury Corps in October 2019. During the 2020 China–India clashes, he represented the Indian Army at the India–China border meet.
LANCE NAIK B SAI TEJA
Lance Naik B Sai Teja was a brave heart of the nation, a hero who gave away his life without any hesitation in the service of his nation. He was a part of the security personnel who were entrusted with the duty of protecting the Chief of Defence Staff, Bipin Rawat. Lance Teja was a part of the 11 paramilitary Special Forces, a highly trained and specialized unit among the Indian army. He was highly skilled in armed and unarmed combat. Apart from this, he also excelled in mixed martial arts. With his prowess and clarity in communications and electronic warfare, he also tried to protect the helicopter from crashing by trying to coordinate with the nearest radio base, but unfortunately, he couldn’t succeed in the mission.
Teja played an integral role in protecting his motherland India from the wrath of terrorists in both Nagaland and Manipur.
Lance Naik B Sai Teja was an asset to the nation and a loss that is irreparable. The entire nation salutes the bravery of his and mourns his untimely demise.
LANCE NAIK JITENDER KUMAR
Lance Naik Jitender Kumar joined the Indian military services in 2011 and was appointed as the personal security officer (PSO) for the Chief of Defence Staff (CDS), Gen. Bipin Rawat. He was an extraordinary sniper and specialist in communications. During his ten years of selfless service, he served in various parts of the Indian sub-continent, including but not limited to the harsh desert regions along the Indo-Pak border, the Sino-Indian border near Pithoragarh and Jammu & Kashmir.
He tirelessly made efforts to avert the damage which could be caused during the unfortunate helicopter crash that took place in Kannur, Tamil Nadu. His traits of bravery and valour were evident even during the incident of the helicopter crash, where he selflessly discharged his duty of protecting the CDS. He was aptly addressed as the Son of the Soil by Sh. Shivraj Singh Chouhan, the Chief Minister of Madhya Pradesh. His martyrdom shall forever be honored in our hearts.
BRIGADIER LAKHBINDER SINGH LIDDER
Brigadier Lakhbinder Singh Lidder was commissioned in 2 JAK RIF in December 1990, was the defense assistant to Gen Bipin Rawat, the Chief of Defence Staff. An alumnus of National Defence Academy, Brig Lidder had also served in Jammu & Kashmir, Eastern sector, and Military Operations Directorate. Family sources said that Brig Lidder was cleared for the next promotion to the rank of Major General. He was awarded the Sena Medal and Vishisht Seva Medal (2020).
WING COMMANDER PRITHVI SINGH CHAUHAN
Wing Commander Prithvi Singh Chauhan was the pilot of the Indian Air Force (IAF) Mi-17V5 chopper, Wing Commander Prithvi Singh Chauhan’s military career began with his selection in the elite National Defence Academy (NDA). After passing out with flying colors, he joined the Indian Air Force in 2000. Presently, he was the Commanding Officer of the 109 helicopter unit at the Air Force Station in Coimbatore.
LANCE NAIK VIVEK KUMAR
Lance Naik Vivek Kumar was a brave heart of the nation, a hero, who gave away his life without any hesitation in the service of his nation. He was a part of the security personnel who were entrusted with the duty of protecting the Chief of Defence Staff, Bipin Rawat.
Lance Naik Kumar was a part of the highly trained and respected one paramilitary Special Forces. Being a part of such a highly-skilled unit of the Indian military, he possessed several skills which are extremely coveted in a combative setting.
Using his communication and free fall expertise, he tried his best to prevent the helicopter crash, but however, unfortunately, couldn’t save the lives of the people aboard that helicopter and became a victim of the unfortunate incident. The nation shall forever remember the contribution of the braveheart in protecting the provinces of South and North Kashmir from the wrath of terrorism.
SQUADRON LEADER KULDEEP SINGH
Surrounded by the mourns of friends and family, Kamla Devi raises her fist and lets out the emotion silencing the ground: “Vande Mataram!”.
Squadron Leader Kuldeep Singh’s mother mingled the grief with a passionate patriotism. After all, her son came from generations of serving the nation. Randhir Singh Rao, his father, was a former Navy person, and so is Kuldeep’s sister, Abhita, a Deputy Commandant in the Coast Guard with the Indian Navy. Kuldeep’s brother-in-law, Captain Satyendra Malik, works as a doctor with the Army. The extended family, too, is dotted with people who are or have been, in the service of the nation.
JUNIOR WARRANT OFFICER RANA PRATAP DAS
Rana Pratap Das deployed as the Junior Warrant Officer in the Indian Air Force (IAF), was cremated with utmost honour in Odisha’s Angul district after he was martyred in the tragic Mi-17V5 chopper crash. He joined the IAF in June 2006 and then, he was transferred to Coimbatore, three months ago.