IAF Group Captain Varun Singh, who succumbed to his injuries after surviving the chopper crash in Tamil Nadu last week, had wished to visit Indore in December-end to celebrate his Shaurya Chakra honour, reported news agency PTI. Citing an acquaintance of the air warrior, the report said that Group Captain Varun Singh was scheduled to visit his wife Geetanjali’s parental home in Indore around December-end and celebrate the honour.
He was conferred with India’s third-highest peacetime gallantry award for averting a possible mid-air accident after his Tejas light combat aircraft was hit by a major technical problem last year.
“But, as fate would have it, he was on board the ill-fated chopper (that crashed last week) as the liaison officer for the visit of Gen Rawat to the Defence Services Staff College in Wellington,” PTI quoted Daljit Singh Gurudatta (70), a neighbour of Singh’s father, as saying.
Group Captain Varun Singh got married in January 2008 after meeting Geetajnjali while she was studying in a Pune college. The couple has two kids, a son and a daughter. Singh’s father Colonel K P Singh (retired) and mother are residents of Bhopal and the officer had last visited his parents during Diwali.
“He loved Bhopal,” Gurudatta said. “I had all hopes that Varun would come out triumphant. We had planned to give him a rousing welcome. I don’t have words to describe the pain and loss his death has caused.”
The air warrior succumbed to his injuries Wednesday morning after battling for life for almost a week in a military hospital in Bengaluru. The chopper crash had already claimed the lives of 13 others onboard, including Chief of Defence Staff General Bipin Rawat and his wife Madhulika.
On Thursday, Madhya Pradesh chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan announced a ‘Samman Nidhi’ of ₹1 crore to the kin of the officer.
“The state government will give ₹one crore ‘Samman Nidhi’ to the family of martyred Group Captain Varun Singh and in consultation with them, install his statue here, name an institution after him and also offer a job to his kin in the state government, as per the laid down practice,” Chouhan told reporters.
(With agency inputs)