The ashes of Chief of Defence Staff General Bipin Rawat and his wife Madhulika Rawat will be taken to Haridwar on Saturday where the ashes will be immersed in the holy Ganga and some rituals will be performed, Gen Rawat’s brother-in-law Yashwardhan Singh said. Both General Rawat and Madhulika Rawat were cremated on a common pyre at Brar Square on Friday.
“We will pick the ashes early morning tomorrow in a ‘kalash’ and then head to Haridwar, where the ashes will be immersed in the holy Ganga and some rituals will be performed,” Madhulika Rawat’s brother said.
Two days after their death in the tragic helicopter crash in Tamil Nadu in which 11 other defence personnel were killed, the mortal remains of General Rawat and Madhukia Rawat were cremated on Friday at the Brar Square crematorium in Delhi Cantonment. On Friday morning, the bodies were kept at their residence for people to pay their last respects. Chief Justice of India N V Ramana, Union home minister Amit Shah, National Security Advisor Ajit Doval, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi, Uttar Pradesh chief minister Yogi Adityanath, former defence minister AK Antony, a number of Union ministers and senior leaders of political parties, religious gurus, seers and several lawmakers and top commanders of neighbouring Bangladesh, Bhutan, Nepal, Sri Lanka paid their last respects to India’s first Chief of Defence Staff and his wife at their Kamraj Marg bungalow.
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“I had spoken to him before he went to Tamil Nadu to attend the function at Wellington. Had never thought, fate would take him away from us. We will be taking his ashes to Haridwar tomorrow. We family members will be going to the holy town to immerse his ‘asthi’ (ashes) into the Ganga river,” the younger brother of Gen Rawat, Col Vijay Rawat (retired) said before the final procession began around 2.20pm.
The last rites were performed by Gen Bipin Rawat and Madhulika Rawat’s daughters Kiritika and Tarini. A priest chanted Sanskrit shlokas and a 17-gun salute was accorded to the general in accordance with protocol at the Brar Square crematorium.
(With PTI inputs)