Road, military station in Kibithu named after India’s first CDS Gen Rawat

A military station on the banks of Lohit Valley along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) with China and a key road in this mountain hamlet were on Saturday named after India’s first Chief of Defence Staff Gen Bipin Rawat, around nine months after he died in a helicopter crash.

As a young Colonel, Rawat had commanded his Battalion 5/11 Gorkha Rifles at Kibithu from 1999-2000 and contributed immensely in strengthening the security structure of the area.

The Kibithu military camp and the 22 km-long road stretch from Walong to Kibithu were named after Gen Rawat at a ceremony attended by Arunachal Pradesh Governor Brigadier (retd) B D Mishra, Chief Minister Pema Khandu, Eastern Army Commander Lt Gen Rana Pratap Kalita and Gen Rawat’s daughters Kritika and Tarini. Several senior military officials also attended the event.

The Kibithu military camp was renamed as Gen Bipin Rawat Military Garrison wherein a grand gate built in local traditional architectural style was inaugurated by the governor.

The 22-km road stretch from Walong to Kibithu was dedicated as Gen Bipin Rawat Marg by Chief Minister Khandu.

A majestic life-size mural of the Gen Rawat was also unveiled.

Gen Rawat was killed in a helicopter crash near Coonoor in Tamil Nadu on December 8 last year along with his wife Madhulika and 12 armed forces personnel.

Kibithu is a small hamlet on the banks of the Lohit Valley in the eastern most part of India.

A circle under Anjaw district of Arunachal Pradesh, Kibithu is considered an important location from the military perspective.

The Army said Gen Rawat’s vision and foresight were instrumental in implementing the infrastructural development and ensuring societal progress in the area.

“Gen Bipin Rawat’s untimely demise in December 2021 left an irreplaceable void in the country,” it said.

The event was attended by citizens of Kibithu and Walong.

The Army said the ceremony has further synergised civil-military relations and is a befitting tribute to the first Chief of Defence Staff of India.

In March, the then Army Chief Gen M M Naravane had announced setting up of a ‘Chair of Excellence’ in memory of India’s first Chief of Defence Staff Gen Bipin Rawat at the United Service Institution of India (USI), a leading military think tank, in Delhi.

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