Brigadier LS Lidder, the defence assistant to the chief of defence staff General Bipin Rawat was among the 13 people killed in the Coonoor chopper crash. He was commissioned into the Jammu and Kashmir Rifles 1990 and was a counterterrorism specialist in Jammu and Kashmir.
“We trained together at #NDA. We fought terrorists together in #Kashmir. In the loss of Brig LS Lidder, SM, VSM today, India has lost one of its brightest & bravest officers & I have lost a friend. A decorated soldier, caring husband & doting father, you will be missed, Tony,” MP Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore said in a tweet.
It seems Brig Lidder was also due for a promotion. He was to pick up next rank and a division shortly. One of the last papers he authored was published in the Centre for Land Warfare Studies (CLAWS) journal.
Rawat’s staff officer, Lieutenant Colonel Harjinder Singh, who was also killed in the crash, was known to be a thorough professional. “Col Harjinder Singh was commissioned under my command. He was my Adjutant and a fabulous officer. I will miss you, my ever-smiling Harry. May you Rest in Peace,” Lieutenant General Shokin Chauhan (retd) wrote on Twitter.
The chopper was flown by Wing Commander PS Chauhan, the commanding officer of 109 Helicopter Unit at Sulur, and his co-pilot Squadron Leader K Singh. The other two IAF personnel on board were junior warrant officers — Rana Pratap Das and Pradeep A.
The army identified the others killed as Havildar Satpal Rai, Naik Gursewak Singh, Naik Jitender Kumar, Lance Naik Vivek Kumar and Lance Naik BS Teja.
The only survivor of the crash, Group Captain Varun Singh, is under treatment at the Military Hospital in Wellington.