By ARUN PRATAP SINGH
DEHRADUN, 9 Dec: Paying tribute to General Rawat, CM Dhami said that demise of General Rawat was huge and irreparable loss to entire nation and in particular to Uttarakhand because he belonged to Uttarakhand. He was a great soldier, a great strategist and a leader but a simple man at heart. The state government had declared three day state mourning. Dhami said that he prayed for strength to the bereaved family of General Rawat and in particular to both his daughters to bear this huge loss.Dhami added that he himself was a son of a soldier and always felt that General Rawat was like his guardian. Former CM Trivendra Singh Rawat said that he was shocked yesterday to know that a chopper of Indian forces carrying General Rawat, his wife and others had crashed. Rawat said that he was concerned about the large scale migration from the hills and from the border districts. Senior Cabinet Minister Satpal Maharaj said that Uttarakhand had lost its great son. He was committed to establishing a theatre command. He was attached to his home state, its language, culture and cuisine. The entire country was shocked and sad over the tragic loss. Harak Singh said that entire country was missing a great solider and leader. He had made Uttarakhand proud. He was born in an ordinary family in a village in the hills but due to sheer merit and capability, he rose to the level of Army Chief and then CDS. He said that he prayed for strength to the bereaved family to bear the loss. Subodh Uniyal said that General Rawat’s demise was huge loss for the nation and in particular for Uttarakhand. He said that Rawat was a great defence strategist and he had led many highly aggressive operations during his long career including in across the border strikes like in Myanmar. His name spelt fear in the enemy camp. He was also attached to Uttarakhand and wanted the state to become developed in horticulture. He was a simple person. Parliamentary Affairs Minister Banshidhar Bhagat said that the death of General Bipin Rawat, his wife and officers and soldiers of the Indian Army in the helicopter crash was very tragic and painful. With the death of General Rawat, the country had lost a brave son. He was the pride of the nation of India and Uttarakhand. Sainik Welfare Minister Ganesh Joshi said that General Rawat’s death was huge loss for the entire nation. He was the first CDS of the country. Joshi reminded that he had met General Rawat when he was the Army chief in the capacity of MLA and had urged him to relax height norms for youth of the hills for recruitment in the army. Within next 25 days, General Rawat had passed an order relaxing the height requirement by 5 cm for the youth from the hills. Cabinet Minister Arvind Pandey said that he was shocked by death of General Rawat, his wife and other defence personnel in the chopper crash yesterday. He added that Rawat would always be remembered for his great contribution to enhance the security of the country and for the welfare of the defence personnel. He prayed for peace to the departed souls and strength to all the bereaved families that suffered due to accident yesterday! Cabinet Minister Bishan Singh Chufal said that General Rawat was a great strategist and for this reason had been promoted as the first Chief of Defence Staff. He played a crucial role in the modernisation of the Army and boosting the morale of the defence forces in an unprecedented way. Speaker Prem Chand Aggarwal said that entire nation was mourning the loss of its great son. Leader of the Opposition Pritam Singh said that the nation had suffered a huge loss in death of General Rawat and that he was pride of the nation and the state in particular. Deputy Leader of the Congress Legislative Party, Karan Mahra, senior Congress member Govind Singh Kunjwal also paid their tributes. Mahra praised the leadership quality of General Rawat. MLA Vinod Chamoli said that General Rawat as an army officer and as a person was a great role model for everyone in the country.