Top Army Officer General Bipin Rawat Killed in Sudden Air Crash … Some Jumbled Points

The Chief of Defence Staff (CDS), General Bipin Rawat calling on the Union Minister for Defence, Rajnath Singh, in New Delhi on January 01, 2020. Photo: PIB (file photo)
The Chief of Defence Staff (CDS), General Bipin Rawat calling on the Union Minister for Defence, Rajnath Singh, in New Delhi on January 01, 2020. Photo: PIB (file photo)

The following points may appear jumbled, but I could not find a better way to present them.

By Rakesh Raman

General Bipin Rawat, India’s first Chief of Defence Staff, and his wife died on December 8 after a military chopper crashed unexpectedly. 

Meanwhile, Russia has begun deliveries of its long-range S-400 ground-to-air missile defence system to India. The $5.5bn deal is for five long-range surface-to-air missile systems, while India does not face any imminent external threat. 

The announcement of deliveries coincided with the Russian President Vladimir Putin’s India visit on December 6. Although Putin has not been traveling much outside Russia during the Covid pandemic, he specially came to India to meet prime minister (PM) Narendra Modi.

Putin is known for silencing his opponents. He is accused of poisoning his political opponent and critic Alexei Navalny who is currently serving a two-and-a-half-year prison sentence after recovering from the assassination attempt.

The assassination of Boris Nemtsov, another political opponent of Putin, occurred in central Moscow on Bolshoy Moskvoretsky Bridge in February 2015. There is a long list of people who have allegedly been assassinated with Putin’s involvement.

Putin is also accused of stealing elections in the U.S. to help Donald Trump win the 2016 presidential race. It is alleged that the elections in Russia that help Putin or his party win are held in a fraudulent manner. Putin, who is a former KGB operative, has the ability to know the inner dealings or secret stratagems in any country. 

Putin’s visit to India and the $5.5bn business that he bagged from India happened just a couple of months before the crucial elections in Indian states – particularly Punjab and Uttar Pradesh (UP) – where Modi’s party BJP is facing a tough challenge. Later, Modi will also have to contest the 2024 Lok Sabha election. 

While Modi and BJP are blamed for tampering with the electronic voting machines (EVMs) to win elections, it may be difficult for Modi to manipulate EVMs again because most political parties are now alert. Therefore, an election “strategist” like Putin can help Modi win, especially after getting the $5.5bn business from Modi.

Just a few days before General Bipin Rawat’s sudden death, Modi ostensibly accepted a few demands of Indian farmers who have been protesting for the past over a year against the farm laws introduced by Modi among other issues. It is believed that many of the relatives of protesting farmers are serving the Indian defence services. In November, Meghalaya Governor Satya Pal Malik had warned the Modi government of ‘Indira Gandhi-like assassination attempts’ for not revoking three contentious farm laws. 

Earlier, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi had raised a number of questions about the Pulwama terror attack that killed 40 Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) personnel on February 14, 2019. Rahul Gandhi asked the Modi government to release the findings of the inquiry report on the Pulwama attack and the names of people in the government who have been held accountable for the security lapses that allowed the attack. But the Pulwama attack is still a mystery. Modi won the 2019 Lok Sabha election in May 2019, just a couple of months after the mysterious Pulwama massacre. 

Similarly, judge Loya (Brijgopal Harikishan Loya) had died in mysterious circumstances. He was handling a case in which BJP leader and Modi’s companion Amit Shah – who is now the Home Minister of India – was the prime accused. Earlier, the U.S. administration denied visa to Modi in view of the allegations of human rights violations against him in the 2002 incidents of riots and carnage. But as he has become the PM of India, Modi is visiting the U.S. frequently because now he enjoys political immunity.

Since most opposition leaders in India are dumb and weak, they cannot get the proper investigations conducted for deaths that take place in inexplicable manner. The traditional opposition party Congress is already facing extinction and has no relevance in the Indian political space and there is hardly any other political outfit that can raise relevant questions. Moreover, parliament has stopped functioning and the media is subservient to the Modi government. Therefore, it is not possible to know the real reasons behind such sudden deaths.

Meanwhile, however, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh said on December 9 that an inquiry has been ordered into the helicopter crash in which Bipin Rawat died.

By Rakesh Raman, who is a national award-winning journalist and social activist. He is the founder of a humanitarian organization RMN Foundation which is working in diverse areas to help the disadvantaged and distressed people in the society.

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Rakesh Raman