General Bipin Rawat was Army chief when India carried out airstrikes targeting a Jaish-e-Mohammad terror training centre in Pakistan’s Balakot in February 2019.
General Rawat came from a military family with several generations having served in the forces. General Bipin Rawat, India’s first Chief of Defence Staff, was killed along with 12 others in a helicopter crash in Tamil Nadu today. One survivor is being treated for his injuries. General Bipin Rawat, 63, was part of the planning and execution of major operations over the past few years.
He was Army chief when India carried out airstrikes targeting a Jaish-e-Mohammad terror training centre in Pakistan’s Balakot in February 2019, days after over 40 soldiers were killed in a terror attack in Pulwama in Jammu and Kashmir. General Rawat also supervised a cross-border counter-insurgency operation in neighbouring Myanmar in 2015.
He was Vice Chief of Army Staff when India carried out a surgical strike across the Line of Control in September 2016, in retaliation against a terror strike on an army camp in Uri in which 19 soldiers were killed. He was part of the planning and closely monitored the strike in Delhi. Three months later, he took over as Army Chief.Last ye ar, he had said on the strikes: “The surgical strikes post-Uri terror attack and the Balakot airstrikes have delivered a strong message to Pakistan that it no longer enjoys the impunity of pushing terrorists across the Line of Control under the nuclear bogey.”
General Rawat came from a military family with several generations having served in the armed forces. He joined the army as a second lieutenant in 1978 and had four decades of service behind him, having commanded forces in Kashmir and along the Line of Actual Control bordering China.
General Rawat was Army Chief from 2017 to 2019 before his elevation as Chief of Defence Staff, a post created in 2019 to improve integration between the army, navy and air force and to enable the military to address challenges like modernisation. He was named Chief of Defence Staff just a day before he was to retire as Army Chief after a three-year term. In his career spanning four decades, General Rawat served in combat areas, and at various functional levels in the Army, according to former chiefs.