Deep sorrow has descended in the Jammu and Kashmir Valley as India’s foremost military officer bids its countrymen a final goodbye on Friday. Chief of Defence Staff General Bipin Rawat had earned many accolades through the course of his four-decade-long career, but the brightest star on his collar is for touching the hearts of the people of Jammu & Kashmir like no other soldier.
Today, as the last rites of the country’s first CDS, along with his wife were held in Delhi, and a massive crowd had gathered to pay final respects to the dynamic soldier. But the situation was no different in Srinagar, where people in huge numbers gathered voluntarily to bid adieu to the soldier who had served them like no other.
A candlelight vigil was organised at the War Memorial in Kashmir, where people marked attendance in huge numbers to pay homage to the soldiers who lost their lives in the unfortunate IAF chopper crash in Coonoor on Dec, 8. The event was also attended by the senior army officers, along with Lt Gen DP Pandey, GOC, Srinagar's Chinar Corps and IG Kashmir.
The visuals of a large number of citizens lighting candles, paying respects, described their affection towards General Bipin Rawat. Citizens of the valley held him in high regard and respected him for his service in Baramulla. He is being missed by the people of the valley, therefore, his loss is widely felt.
Speaking at the event, Lt Gen DP Pandey, GOC, Srinagar's Chinar Corps, said, “People had requested that they pay tribute to Gen Bipin Rawat and soldiers who died in the helicopter crash. This is a tribute from the people of Kashmir at the war memorial in Srinagar.”
People had requested that they want to pay tribute to Gen Bipin Rawat and soldiers who died in the helicopter crash. This is a tribute from the people of Kashmir at the war memorial in Srinagar: Lt Gen DP Pandey, GOC, Srinagar's Chinar Corps pic.twitter.com/kAQ9t7Bw0Q— ANI (@ANI) December 10, 2021
General Bipin Rawat was deployed in Kashmir three times. He had served as a company commander in Uri (Baramulla area) first and then as the Army's 5 Sector's sector commander in Watlab, Sopore, and his last deployment in the valley was as the General Officer Commanding (GOC) of the 19 Infantry Division (Dagger division). During his stint in the valley, the former Chief of Army Staff became acquainted with a number of people in Baramulla.
General Rawat had ensured that peace prevailed in the valley after the abrogation of article 370 in 2019. His strategies and efforts to restore normalcy in the valley were very resolute, and he had also ensured their successful implementation.
Lt Gen DP Pandey told the Indian Express, even after being deployed on the top positions, as Army Chief and Chief of Defence Staff, General Rawat used to answer calls from Kashmiris. He remarked that General Rawat used to listen to the needs of the people and then contact him to assist these people.
He informed that General Rawat’s two tenures in Baramulla were close to his heart. He asserted that his demise is not just the loss of the Indian Army, an Armed officer, but is the loss of the people as well, and the whole country is feeling that. He asserted that Rawat had immense love for the people of Kashmir, people of Uri, Baramulla, and no army man can have that kind of affection.
As per the Army, another congregation was organised on Thursday to pay tributes to the deceased General. People of the Machil area, near the Line of Control (LoC) in the Kupwara sector, organised a candlelight march to pay tributes to the departed soldiers. A two-minute silence was also held for the departed souls.
People of the valley will remember the brave General for his immense efforts to ensure security and prosperity in Jammu and Kashmir. Earlier this year, General Bipin Rawat had visited the Machil sector along with Brigadier L S Lidder in July.